Research Passports

What is a Research Passport?

The Research Passport System is a process for issuing Honorary Research Contracts or letters of access to researchers who are carrying out research in the NHS.

Why do I need a Research Passport?

If you are carrying out research on NUH staff, patients, tissue, data or premises you will need a letter of access or Honorary Research Contract depending on the nature of the activities you plan to undertake. NUH has a duty of care to our patients to protect them and their data. A Letter of Access does not mean that you can access confidential data, data access still requires consent and Data Protection Laws and Caldicott principles should be followed.

Why would I need an Honorary Research Contract?

If your research is likely to have a direct bearing on the quality of care patients receive at NUH or your employee does not have sufficient accountability for NHS activities, you will require an Honorary Research Contract, for example if you are involved in the delivery of a treatment.

What if I am employed by another NHS trust?

If you are employed by an NHS trust other than the one where you wish to carry out research, an NHS to NHS proforma should be completed by the employing TrustÂ’s HR department. This will confirm you have had the necessary checks prior to employment (CRB check, Occupational Health clearance and employment checks). This should then be submitted to the R&I department where the research is being conducted who will issue a letter of access.

What is the process of gaining a Research Passport and Letter of Access?

A Research Passport form can be downloaded from the NIHR Website. The form should be completed by the researcher, the employers HR department and the NUH employed supervisor who will oversee the research activities. Once the form has been completed, the original should be sent to the R&I dept at NUH who will process the application. We will need to see original copies of CRB, occupational health clearance, Identification and a CV. Once all the checks have been satisfied a Letter of Access can be issued.

I am working on more than one project; do I need multiple Research Passports?

No, a passport can either be project specific or last for 3 years. For multi study passports please make sure that the appendix is completed correctly with the details of the projects and the research activities listed. A multi project research passport does not mean that you can work on any study within the trust, a letter of access will be issued for the projects which the passport covers. If you wish to add studies to the passport, the changes should be made on the appendix and submitted to R&I for review.

What do I do with the letter of access?

Whenever you are on Trust premises you should have the letter of access with you to present if requested. If you need to get an NUH badge for access to a department, it is down to your NUH supervisor to sign the ID request.

How long does it take to issue a letter of access?

We aim to provide you with a letter of access within two weeks of receipt of a completed Research Passport application form.

For further information please visit the NIHR website

If you have any further questions then please contact NUH R&I Department:

Alison Steel ex 70669 Alison.Steel@nuh.nhs.uk
Joanne Thornhill ex 70680 Joanne.Thornhill@nuh.nhs.uk

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