Other Links

Clinical Local Research Networks (CLRNs)


Clinical Local Research Networks work with their local NHS organisations to support clinical research, as set out in Health Service Guidelines and Attributing the costs of health and social care Research and Development (AcoRD).

As part of the National Institute for Health Research, they to help to provide the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research to take place in the NHS, so that patients can benefit from new and better treatments, and they can learn how to improve NHS healthcare for the future. On this site you can learn more about the Clinical Research Network, including: how they are helping researchers to set up clinical studies quickly and effectively; how they are supporting the life-sciences industry to deliver their research programmes; how they are providing health professionals with research training; and how they work with patients to ensure their needs are at the very centre of all research activity.

Our local CLRN is the West of England Clinical Research Network (WoECRN)


Human Tissue Authority (HTA)


The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) is a watchdog that supports public confidence by licensing organisations that store and use human tissue for purposes such as research, patient treatment, post-mortem examination, teaching, and public exhibitions. They also give approval for organ and bone marrow donations from living people.

Their aim is to set standards that are clear and reasonable, and in which both the public and professionals can have confidence.


Information Commissioner's Office (ICA)


The Information Commissioner’s Office’s mission is to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. They rule on eligible complaints, give guidance to individuals and organisations, and take appropriate action when the law is broken.


Integrated Research Application System (IRAS)


The Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) is a single online system for applying for permissions and approvals for health and social care/community research in the UK. 

It streamlines the process for seeking relevant approvals, as researchers no longer need to enter the details for a single project in separate application forms. 


Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)


The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe.  The MHRA is an executive agency of the Department of Health.


Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act is designed to protect people who can't make decisions for themselves or lack the mental capacity to do so. This could be due to a mental health condition, a severe learning difficulty, a brain injury, a stroke or unconsciousness due to an anaesthetic or sudden accident.


NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC)


NETSCC is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and was established at the University of Southampton in 2008.

UK government support for medical research is channeled primarily through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).  Broadly speaking, the NIHR funds later-phase health research, which has the potential to influence the delivery of healthcare to patients, while the MRC supports basic and early clinical research.  The two bodies work closely together, overseen by the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) to ensure that there is a continuum of research opportunities along the translational pathway and to ensure activities are coordinated.


National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)


The goal of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is to create a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals, working in world class facilities, conducting leading edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public. The NHS reputation for international excellence is growing as it gains recognition for being the preferred host for collaborative and multi-centered research in the public interest in partnership with and for industry. This will benefit patients, society, the NHS and all our stakeholders.

The NIHR will work with key partners involved in the different elements of NHS research.


National Research Ethics Service (NRES)


The National Research Ethics Service has a dual mission: 

  • to protect the rights, safety, dignity and well-being of research participants; and
  • to facilitate and promote ethical research that is of potential benefit to participants, science and society 


Research Design Service (RDS)

The NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) supports researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to NIHR and other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research. The service started on 1 October 2008 and replaced the former Research and Development Support Units (RDSUs).

The Research Design Service provides expert advice to researchers on all aspects of preparing grant applications for applied research in health and social care, including statistics, quantitative and qualitative research techniques, clinical trials, evidence synthesis, health economics, epidemiology, public and patient involvement, ethics and governance. There are ten NIHR Research Design Service, one in each Strategic Health Authority area.