The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health research. The West of England, through its universities and hospitals, hosts key NIHR infrastructure, as well as attracting millions in NIHR grant funding every year.
The NIHR is a complex, devolved organisation which can be confusing. Here’s what each part of the local NIHR does, and who it’s designed to help.
There is some overlap between the different parts, but they also collaborate and work together.
If in doubt, get in touch with the part you feel is most relevant and they will be happy to help.
Collaborating with you to set up and manage studies, from grant application to publishing results
The Bristol Trials Centre collaborates with researchers as academic partners to design and deliver studies. From turning research ideas into grant applications, to delivering the research and disseminating results, BTC can work with you at every stage of the study lifecycle. The team has extensive expertise in trials methodology, study design, study management, statistical analysis and data management, including bespoke database design. There are also experts in health economics and social science. BTC is part-funded by NIHR.
Supporting experimental medicine and early phase research
The Bristol CRF support the delivery of early translational and experimental medicine research, from studies testing new treatments in healthy volunteers or patients for the very first time through to early safety and efficacy clinical trials. They provide dedicated purpose-built facilities and expertise for the delivery of these high-intensity studies, set apart from the busy hospital setting, safely and to the very highest standards. They encourage the inclusion of the public and patients in the design of their research studies and work with commercial partners who ensure UHBW is kept at the forefront of modern treatment.
Helping you plan, set up and deliver high quality health and care research
The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports patients, the public and health and care organisations across England to participate in high-quality research. In the West of England, the CRN supports the delivery of high-quality research both by geography and therapy area, covering 30 specialty areas. Its Study Support Service helps researchers and the life sciences industry plan, set up and deliver high quality research in the NHS and the wider health and social care environment. The CRN provides this service for all studies potentially eligible for support, regardless of study type, size, therapy or research area. Whether your study is in public health, social care, medical, diagnostic, pharmaceutical or bio-tech the CRN can help.
Bringing together organisations to improve health and care in the region
Bristol Health Partners is a strategic collaboration between universities, health and care providers, commissioners and councils. It exists to improve the health of people who live in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, and the delivery of the services on which they rely. As an Academic Health Science Centre it integrates, promotes and develops the region’s strengths in health and care services, research and innovation.
Bridging the gap between fundamental research and new treatments
Bristol BRC’s innovative biomedical research takes science from the laboratory bench or computer and develops it into new drugs, treatments or health advice. Its world-leading scientists work on many aspects of health, from the role played by individual genes and proteins to analysing large collections of data on hundreds of thousands of people. Bristol BRC is unique among the NIHR’s 20 BRCs across England, thanks to its expertise in ground-breaking population health research. It is hosted by UHBW.
Applied research to protect the public’s health and support the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)
The Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Behavioural Science and Evaluation conducts applied research on the development and evaluation of interventions to protect the public’s health, drawing on insights and expertise from behavioural science. They aim to support UKHSA (formerly Public Health England) in delivering its objectives and functions, focusing on UKHSA’s priorities.
Driving forward primary care research to influence policy and practice
The NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) is a partnership between nine leading academic centres for primary care research in England, with the University of Bristol hosting the Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC). CAPC is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK. It sits within the Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.
Driving forward public health research to influence policy and practice
The NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) is a partnership between nine leading academic centres of excellence in public health research, and the Centre for Public Health at the University of Bristol hosts one of these centres. It sits within Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.
Driving forward adult social care research to influence policy and practice
The NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) is a partnership between seven leading academic centres of excellence in adult social care research. In Bristol, the SSCR team is based in the University of Bristol’s School for Policy Studies (Social Sciences & Law).
Applied health research to address the issues facing the health and social care system
ARC West conducts applied health research with its partners and others in the health and care sector, alongside patients and members of the public. Applied health research aims to address the immediate issues facing the health and social care system. They also help bring research evidence into practice and provide training for the local workforce. The ARC is hosted by UHBW.
How each part of the local NIHR that is responsible for conducting research fits into the research pipeline, from discovery and invention, to diffusion and widespread implementation.