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NIHR Portfolio Studies

If you have been awarded a research grant your study could be considered eligible for NIHR Clinical Research Network support and inclusion on the NIHR (Clinical Research Network) Portfolio.  There are benefits in having your research included on the NIHR portfolio.

If your study is eligible for the NIHR Portfolio we can assist you with local study set up, taking into consideration arrangements to support research activities before confirming capacity and capability, ensuring once all approvals are in place that the Sponsor is happy to activate site for study to commence.

Applying for portfolio adoption is done via the IRAS form and by marking 'Yes' to Q5a or Q5b of the filter questions.  This will create a portfolio adoption form (PAF) which should be submitted electronically through IRAS as early as possible for commercial and non-commercial funded clinical research studies. Once a submission is made to the REC and HRA, the study documents will automatically be forwarded to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to allow them to review the study for portfolio eligibility.  Please note that the NIHR are independent of the HRA and both reviews are completed separately. Research teams will therefore be notified separately of each review outcome.

Further information on the NIHR Clinical Research Network can be found at:

Eligibility criteria for inclusion on the NIHR portfolio

The eligibility criteria for inclusion on the NIHR portfolio (and hence researcher access to Clinical Research Network support) on behalf of the Department of Health in England is performed by:

  • Specialty leads for commercial studies via the NIHR Industry Application Gateway system
  • NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio team and specialty leads for non-commercial studies

Studies are identified as being either one of the following types:

  • Automatically eligible studies - studies that have some of their research funding provided by the NIHR, other areas of central Government and NIHR non-commercial Partners and fulfil the Eligibility Criteria definition of a ‘research study’
  • Potentially eligible studies - other funded (those that require adoption)
  • Studies that are not eligible

If you need help to establish whether your research study is eligible for inclusion on the NIHR portfolio then please contact one of the Noclor Research Facilitators for advice.

How to include your research on the NIHR portfolio

If you think your study may be eligible for the NIHR Portfolio (and to Clinical Research Network support), please complete and submit the NIHR CRN Portfolio Application Form (PAF) through IRAS. The PAF form will appear in IRAS project forms for your study; you will need to answer the Project Filter Questions as below for the PAF form to become available: 

  • Q 3a must be 'England'
  • Q 5a or 5b must be 'Yes'

How to apply for CRN support

Benefits of being included on the NIHR portfolio

Some of the benefits to you and your research study for inclusion on the portfolio are as follows : 

  • Access to a local network of skilled research support staff including research nurses and other allied health professionals, who can help identify eligible patients, arrange consent to participate in the study and monitor patients as they progress through the study
  • Support to ensure that your study can be successfully undertaken in the NHS including pharmacy, imaging and pathology services and the possibility of securing protected time for NHS staff to conduct research
  • Access to experienced Research Management and Governance staff that can advise on governance aspects of undertaking clinical research in the NHS and facilitate the rapid approval of your study.  
  • Staff learning and training 
  • Registration on ISRCTN 
  • NIHR Benefits