What Is the Nihr Portfolio?

What Is the Nihr Portfolio?


The National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre (NIHR

CRN CC) has developed a database (known as ‘the Clinical Research Network Portfolio’) of clinical research studies, which meet specific eligibility criteria, being undertaken in the UK.

Which studies are eligible to be included in the NIHR CRN Portfolio?

In England, the Department of Health has determined that studies (clinical trials and other well designed studies which involve the NHS) that are funded by NIHR, other areas of Government, and

NIHR non-commercial Partners are automatically eligible to be included in the NIHR CRN Portfolio.

NIHR Partners are those organisations that:

• award research funds as a result of open competition across England with high quality peer review

• fund research that is of clear value to the NHS

• have strategic direction for the research that they fund.

In addition other studies, such as commercially sponsored studies or those with industry funding which are led by an academic investigator may be considered for inclusion in the NIHR CRN Portfolioby undergoing an adoption process.

For further details, please visit the CRN page on eligibility criteria:

What are the benefits of being adopted onto the NIHR CRN Portfolio?

  • Access to a local network of research support staff such as research nurses and other healthcare professionals
  • Offering support to ensure research studies are feasible to be carried out under the NHS
  • Providing access to staff that can carry out local governance checks and obtain NHS permission
  • Managing study performance by monitoring Key Performance Indicators such as time to target recruitment in studies
  • Please note that Lancashire Care does not support non-portfolio research (with the exception of student projects, where the student is employed by Lancashire Care or the University is in the North West of England)

How do I apply for adoption to the NIHR CRN Portfolio?

The NIHR Coordinated System for gaining NHS Permission (NIHR CSP) is the entry point for non-commercial studies applying for Clinical Research Network support.

  • The researcher submits the Portfolio Adoption Form (PAF) via IRAS (Integrated Research Application System) at
  • If you believe that your study is eligible for the portfolio, on the project filter Q. 5b. “Do you wish to make an application for the study to be considered for NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) support and inclusion in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio?”

Select Yes

If yes, NHS permission for your study will be processed through the NIHR Coordinated System for gaining NHS Permission (NIHR CSP) and you must complete a NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) Portfolio Application Form immediately after completing this project filter and before completing and submitting other applications

  • The CRN portfolio team then complete an initial assessment to check whether the project is eligible
  • Invalid – this goes back to the researcher and asks for further information before a decision can be made
  • Potentially eligible – the researcher is asked to submit the R&D application form via IRAS and a decision is given whether the form is valid or invalid. If valid there is a further assessment made to determine whether the study can be adopted onto the portfolio. If invalid, the researcher is asked to amend the R&D form and re-submit with further information.
  • Following further assessment, the decision is:
  • Automatically eligible – the project is automatically added to the portfolio
  • Potentially eligible – this goes through the CRN adoption process, the project is assessed by the CRN and if approved, is added to the portfolio
  • Ineligible – study is not eligible and has to obtain NHS permission outside of CSP
  • Ineligible – study is not eligible for the portfolio and the researcher has to obtain NHS permission outside of CSP

How do I upload my documents onto CSP?

Once your study is eligible for the portfolio you are then given instructions how to upload documents via IRAS onto the CSP system.

How do I upload my recruitment onto the CRN portal?

Recruitment is the enrolment of an individual person meeting specific inclusion criteria into a research study.Each study participant who has both provided informed consent to join a study and is taking part in the study (i.e. participants who count towards the sample size of the study as set out in the study protocol), should be recorded as a participant in the Portfolio Database.

Please click on this link for a quick reference guide to downloading your recruitment data