Research Strategy

Our Vision

The Department of Research and Development will play a central and strategic role in establishing NUH as the leading acute teaching Trust provider in the UK by 2016. At the core of this vision is the fostering of a culture in which research and innovation are embedded in routine clinical practice and the creation of an environment in which research findings lead to sustained improvements in the quality of patient care.

The Transformation of Health Research in the Past Five Years

In recent years there have been dramatic and systematic changes in the structure and funding of research in the NHS. Best Research for Best Health (2006) established the National Institute of Heath Research (NIHR) to provide and manage a framework for coordinated investment in new research capacity in the NHS. At the core of this initiative was the creation of a stratified system of topic specific networks, the comprehensive local research networks (CLRNs). These provide for infrastructure support for high quality clinical research throughout the NHS, and the replacement of the historical ‘portfolio’ funding of R&D in Trusts with a series of response mode funding schemes. In addition to this core national infrastructure, the NIHR established a small group of elite Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) and Units (BRUs) as the NIHR vehicle for experimental and translational medicine. The BRUs were established in specific disease areas in response to the Cooksey Review of UK Heath Research Funding (2006), which emphasised gaps both in the translation of ideas from basic research into new intervention for the treatment of disease, and lack of a national strategy to align research in the NHS with the health needs of the nation. Cooksey also identified a second translational gap in the national capacity to implement new products and approaches in clinical practice, which led to the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) awards.

Our Achievements

NUH has made a remarkably successful response to these new opportunities.

RD annual Report 2013
RD Annual report 2012
RD Annual report 2011
RD Annual report 2010

We are the host organisation for the Trent CLRN and topic specific research networks in Cancer and Medicines for Children and a hub for the Stroke Network.

In partnership with the University of Nottingham, we have secured:

  • Three Biomedical Research Units: Respiratory Diseases, Digestive Diseases and Hearing.
  • Three programme grants for applied research (Dermatology, Medical Crises in the Elderly and the Impact of Injuries in Children)
  • Partnership in the Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire CLAHRC.

This record is unmatched by any other organisation in the UK, and has resulted in more than £35m of new investment from the NIHR.

NIHR Research Support Services (RSS) Framework – NUH Operational Capability Statement

NUH fully complies with the NIHR RSS framework. The NIHR RSS is a national framework for local NHS research management. This framework enables front line staff to collaborate in offering a consistent professional streamlined service, with proportionate procedures, to support clinical research in the NHS in England.

The framework is designed to achieve the following aims.

  • Cutting Bureaucracy – cut red tape and gold-plating of regulation.
  • Accountability – enable the public to hold public bodies to account.
  • Efficiency – cut the costs of administration.
  • Autonomy – enable front line staff to use their professional judgement.
  • Safety – protecting patients and organisations from unsafe research.

The Department of Health expects NHS organisations to publish an operational capability statement (OCS). The NUH Operational capability statement is available as a pdf download.

This is a clear statement about what NUH is able to do to host or sponsor health research. Sponsors and researchers can see and use the information to inform and speed up decisions about where to carry out research.

The NUH capability statement gets updated annually and submiited to the NUH Trust Board as part of the annual R&D reporting cycle thus demonstrating that health research is a core activity within NUH.

Our Role

Against this background, the role of the Department of R&D in NUH has evolved. The first responsibility of R&D remains the provision of an excellent research support service. In addition, however, the Department has a new and complex range of resources, which will be strategically allocated and managed to support first class clinical research and to create sustainable research capacity in the organisation. The Trust is the custodian of NIHR investment intended to place NUH at the centre of the national programme to drive innovation in healthcare and translate advances in biomedical research into benefit for our patients. The role of the R&D department is to manage this resource effectively, to facilitate delivery of the experimental programmes and to provide a strong base for further large scale investment by the NIHR and other major funders.

Read our full length R&D strategy.

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