- The research process
- Information for student projects
- Research Funding
- The Research Design Service
- Portfolio information
- Statistical advice
- Research Passports
The research process at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
All research which takes place within the NHS must have ethical approval and NHS permission before it can begin. This page provides information on the processes involved when applying for project approval. However if you want more detailed information and you are a PHNT employee then please visit the intranet web pages:
If you want to design and run your own local research project you should make use of the support services provided by the R&D Department.
- If you want advice at any point in the research process, you may contact Dr Helen Neilens. She will help you to formulate your ideas into a research question and to develop your study protocol. The R&D sub-committee will review your application and will decide whether the trust will act as sponsor for your project.
- When approval is given, an IRAS ethics form must be completed. This part of the application can be found on the Integrated Research Application System website which is a national system for applying to Research Ethics Committees. Visit the website of the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) for detailed information on applying for ethical approval.
- For more information about sponsorship and the role of the sponsor, refer to the Research Governance Framework 2005
If you are a student and want to design and run your own research project within Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
If you are conducting a project as part of a course i.e. a Masters then there are differences in the sponsorship process. Please contact Dr Helen Neilens who will be able to discuss this with you.
The R&D department does not provide research funding. However the R&D Department does provide the following financial services:
- Helping researchers to identify and apply for funding.
- Costing applications for external funding.
- Costing internally funded research projects.
- Costing departments' contributions to projects.
- Managing research income and expenditure.
For more information about possible funding sources visit www.rdinfo.org.uk, a DH-funded database providing the latest health-related research funding information, with over 4,000 awards for projects, staff, equipment, fellowships, travel and conference bursaries. Through RDInfo you can register your areas of interest and receive email updates of new funding opportunities.
The Research Design Service
Another source of funding support is provided by the Research Design Service which is part of the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The RDS exists to provide help for people preparing research proposals for submission to peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research. The RDS essentially consists of a team of people based in universities and the NHS across the South West, able to advise and provide practical support when you are developing your grant application. As the RDS is funded by the NIHR for this purpose, such help is provided free of charge.
Who can use the RDS?
The RDS will provide advice to NHS researchers, and others working in partnership with the NHS, who are developing an application to a suitable funding body. Priority will be given to NHS researchers applying to the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) funding scheme.
For more information about NIHR funding, please contact Andy Barton or Sue Anderson
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Comprehensive Research Network (CRN) was created as part of the government’s research and development strategy, “Best Research for Best Health” to provide a world-class infrastructure for clinical trials in all areas of disease and clinical need within the NHS.
The NIHR CRN:
- Provides an excellent clinical research infrastructure to support a high quality portfolio of clinical research studies and facilitate patient participation into studies
- Provides those NHS Service Support Costs which were previously provided through other NHS R&D funding streams
- Provides and deploys resources for research management in order to ensure that the research portfolio is delivered to the highest standards of research governance.
The NIHR CRN is made up of 25 Comprehensive Local Research Networks, which are generally broken down by area. Click here for a map of the Comprehensive Local Research Networks (CLRNs). Plymouth Hospitals comes under the Peninsula CLRN, also known as PenCLRN.
In addition to the CLRNs, there are 7 Topic Specific Networks with bases in various parts of the country. PenCLRN is one of only two CLRNs which host all 7 Topic Networks. These are:
In addition, PenCLRN has nominated nine further specialty areas of research that it supports. These are based on existing research activity, strength and expertise in the fields and include:
- Metabolic & Endocrine
- Epilepsy & other Neurological Disease
- Reproductive Health & Childbirth
- Public Health
- Health Services Research
PenCLRN also supports research in specialty areas not currently nominated as priority areas.
You can find more information on the Peninsula CLRN website or please contact Reshma Raycoba
The Trust has an arrangement with the Biostatistics group, University of Plymouth, whereby advice can be accessed in the following areas:
- study design – including sample size and power calculations
- data management – the development of data entry protocols and the organisation of databases
- Statistical analysis – advice and assistance in any area of statistics
- Statistical reporting – help with the preparation of reports and papers for academic and professional journals
For further details please contact Paul Ingram
What is the Research Passport?
The Research Passport is a streamlined system for issuing honorary research contracts to researchers who do not have a contractual relationship with the NHS.
Before the Research Passport was introduced, researchers working across multiple NHS sites often needed to get a new contract from each host organisation. Each contract required several pre-engagement checks, for example occupational health checks.
The Research Passport saves valuable time and resources and speeds study start-up times by relying on existing pre-engagement checks and assurances from substantial employers.
The Passport benefits researchers, NHS organisations and universities because it:
- Promotes the consistent use of honorary research contracts by the NHS
- Provides clear guidance on their use
- Provides a streamlined standard system to apply for the contracts
- Avoids repeat checks for each contract
- Clarifies responsibilities of NHS hosts and Higher Education Institution employers.
The Research Passport can be accessed online http://www.nihr.ac.uk/systems/Pages/systems_research_passports.aspx
Who does not need a Research Passport?
You will not need a Research Passport or an honorary research contract if:
- you are employed by an NHS organisation; or
- you are an independent contractor (e.g. GP) or employed by an independent contractor; or
- you have an honorary clinical contract with the NHS (e.g. clinical academics); or
- you are a student who will be supervised within clinical settings by an NHS employee or HE staff member with an honorary clinical or research contract; or
- the research you are doing does not require any checks or honorary research contract.
For more information about the Research Passport and whether this applies to you, please contact the plh-tr.RD-Office@nhs.net