Accessing free study support

The NIHR portfolio is your channel for accessing NHS support service costs, research nursing teams and faster approvals.

Research nursing and service support covered, plus simple multi-site permission

The majority of research nurses in Southampton are funded by the NIHR Comprehensive Research Network (CRN) and only work on portfolio studies.

If your study isn’t on the Portfolio, they can’t support it, it really is that simple – costs for service support follow the same rule.

Portfolio studies also gain NHS permission from all participating Trusts through a single submission to the NHS Coordinated System for gaining NHS Permission (CSP).

Gaining adoption of a study

Adoption is part of the approval application process, using IRAS (Integrated Research Application System).  You must indicate that you want the study to be on the portfolio, via the in the Project Filter questions – option 5b will bring up the CSP application form for completion.


Non-commercial studies (funded by recognised peer-review grant-giving bodies including NIHR, the research councils and medical charities) are generally automatically eligible.

Commercial studies are considered through a formal adoption process with a committee made up of experts in the relevant area. Key criteria:

  • A genuine and testable hypothesis or valid research question, with potential future benefit for patients
  • A statistically valid trial design which is reasonable for the stated objective of the study, subjected to an adequate protocol review process that can be delivered reliably and on time through NIHR CRN

Investigator-Initiated Trials (IITs) funded by a commercial company are treated as commercial studies and considered through a formal adoption process.

Studies already recruiting cannot be adopted to the NIHR Portfolio retrospectively.

Research studies which involve NHS employees as participants are eligible for inclusion on the NIHR Portfolio, based on the same criteria as studies involving patients. The costs associated with staff members participating in studies can be met by the Clinical Research Network as service support costs.

If the study involves a public health intervention in an NHS setting, subjects who are recruited in their capacity as NHS patients, or who are NHS staff, then the study is eligible for inclusion on the NIHR Portfolio.