Consider taking part in clinical research with the NIHR


Practices are invited to take part in clinical research studies and join the growing number of people helping to improve care and treatment for patients.

Support and guidance is available from a team of experts in Greater Manchester.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Greater Manchester is inviting practices to get involved in clinical research studies.

Their overall mission is to gather evidence that leads to new and better care and treatment of patients and the public, by providing practical support to allow high-quality research to take place in health care settings.

Taking part in research could benefit you as a practitioner, your practice and your patients.

As an individual you can align your research with a clinical interest or training and enhance your career portfolio.

Your practice could align research with existing activity, helping to meet your Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), and even benefit from a research-related income stream and access to other funding.

Patients registered with a practice undertaking research have a greater investment in their own health, enjoy better overall care and can benefit from emergent treatment options.

There are a number of studies open to primary care and the CRN can provide support on all aspects of research activity. As mentioned, funding can be available via the Research Site Initiative (RSI) Funding Scheme. Funding ranges from £3,750 to £18,750 depending on the number of research schemes your practices chooses to be involved in.

Some ‘light touch’ schemes currently open to practices include:

  • The BRIT2 study – Researchers at the University of Manchester have developed a series of dashboards for EMIS that uses data from GP practices to help understand where to focus efforts to optimise prescribing. Software is downloaded to the practice system and anonymous data is viewed by the study team, but the practice team can view identifiable information and use it to inform prescribing
  • The DISCOVER ME study – More and more GP practices across GM are taking part in the Discover Me study, offering their patients the opportunity to find out their ancestry as well as contribute to creating a dynamic research resource to help us understand disease susceptibility and severity
  • Violence and Abuse towards General Practice Staff – Researchers at Nottingham University are trying to understand staff experience of violence and abuse by patients and the public in general practice surgeries, the impact of such experiences and what they think might limit the problem and help those who are affected. The findings can inform ways to reduce the number of incidents and better support staff who experience or witness such incidents

Dr Imran Ghafoor, a GP at Peterloo Medical Centre in Middleton and a Primary Care Specialty Lead for the NIHR CRN GM, said: “Being involved in research provides that ‘golden opportunity’ for patient care. It gives them an insight into how things work behind the scenes and how patients can have an impact on healthcare for the whole population and not just themselves. It can also give them access to treatment that they wouldn’t normally have access to if they hadn’t taken part in the research.”

The number of people involved in research is growing, with just over 10,000 people recruited to studies in a primary care setting in Greater Manchester.

If you’re interested in learning more about clinical research in your practice, contact: or visit the NIHR CRN Greater Manchester Primary Care Research Hub.

Dr Ghafoor has recently recorded a Primary Care Knowledge Boost podcast with Ewa Grzegorska, a Research Support Facilitator at CRN Greater Manchester. The PCKB podcasts are supported by our GP Excellence programme.

The PCB website also has more information on how research can benefit your work.