December 2019 Newsletter

Season’s Greetings 

The past year has been packed with activity as we increase our connections, our confidence and our impact as a community. In 2020 there is much more to come and as we welcome more groups to form and develop practice, we plan to have lots of outputs to share in Newcastle for RDF20. Don’t forget to get your poster abstracts in by 31st December.
Wishing you all the very best for the festive season ahead.

Did you read?
‘All the stars were aligned’? The origins of England’s National Institute for Health Research

A fascinating historical review of the origins of the NIHR in England, this article is worth a read for context and insight.
Atkinson, P., Sheard, S. & Walley, T. ‘All the stars were aligned’? The origins of England’s National Institute for Health Research. Health Res Policy Sys 17, 95 (2019) doi:10.1186/s12961-019-0491-5 

Click here to read the full article

Less than two weeks left before the Poster Abstract Submission expires. 

The deadline for submissions is 31st December so if you or your team would like to present a Poster at the Annual Conference in Newcastle ensure you submit your Poster Abstract before the deadline. 

Topics should be relevant to the wider R&D community. The Annual NHS R&D Forum is about sharing best practice in R&D within health and social care settings.

Click here to submit your poster abstract.

RDF20 will take place in Newcastle from the 10-12 May and we expect over 500 delegates from across health and care research to attend. Please book early to ensure your place and take advantage of the early bird rate that ends on 31st January 2020.

The Sunday night workshop and networking buffet will take place in the Crowne Plaza Newcastle and the rest of the conference is being held at Sage Gateshead. This year we are giving delegates the option to choose their conference hotel during the booking process. Make sure you read the notes for each hotel and their location before you complete your booking. 

All the details are available on the conference website. All event enquiries should be directed to

Further details and booking

Research not as we know it: Managing novel methods in research
2nd March 2020: London 

Innovative real world research designs are likely to become more commonplace for both sites and sponsors and so we aim to look at how we can build our confidence as a community to ensure they are able to run well in and for the NHS.
Following the success of our recent symposia we have arranged our third event to explore how we can manage novel studies that have complex, real world or novel designs like adaptive and umbrella trials. This symposium has been put together following the Industrial Strategy and Life Sciences Sector Deal 2.
Speakers & topics include: 
Emma Lowe: The Life Sciences Strategy & policy perspective 
Department of Health & Social Care, Research Policy Senior Manager – Industry Relations & Growth
Dr Kirsty Wydenbach: The MHRA & regulatory perspective 
Deputy Unit Manager/Senior Medical Assessor 
Clinical Trials Unit, MHRA
Joanne Plumb: A research office perspective 
Deputy Director of Research Development and Innovation: University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Conduct Methodology team: A trial management perspective 
At MRC CTU at University College London
Facilitated round table discussions will explore topics in depth 
Join 50 colleagues to help prepare for managing the future of research.

Click here to book

Professional Learning & Development

A Practical Application of Monitoring in a Health Care Setting
Date: 2nd & 3rd March 2020
Location: Bristol
Further details and booking

Local Capacity & Capability for Research
Date: 20th March 
Location: London
Further details and booking

Archiving Master Class
Date: 29th June
Location: London
Further details and booking

Forum courses ‘in-house’ 
All courses on the Forum programme can be tailored to serve local needs and settings. If you would like a course delivered in your organisation please contact

Forum Round Up

 LinkedIN group for Non-commercial Sponsors

Did you know there is a new LinkedIN group for non-commercial Sponsors and R&D office staff?  Connect with your colleagues and peers by joining here

Representation at meetings this month 

Royal College of Physicians: How to embed research in NHS Trusts of better Patient Care 

This month group members represented the Forum and the research management, support & leadership community by facilitating a conversation at the Royal College of Physicians: How to embed research in NHS Trusts for better Patient Care. 

A number of delegates and presenters discussed the benefits of the research effect in NHS organisations and then explored the challenges of how to develop a research culture, professional credibility for research and the time and space to undertake research. Slides from the event are now in our Resources Exchange.

Dr Rebecca Smith, Chair of the Forum Research Strategy & Leadership Working Group attended for the Forum and was recorded summing up which you can listen to by clicking here.

The RCP used the event to launch their statement “Benefiting from the ‘research effect’” which sets out how NHS trusts can better support clinicians to become research active. This statement and supporting documents are aimed at supporting Trusts and Chief Executives to benefit from delivering research.

Read more here.

The Research Strategy & Leadership Working Group of the Forum continues to support embedding research in a health care setting as a clear theme arising from our community survey analysis. We are working closely with the RCP and the NIHR CRN on work to support R&D management teams in the future and with UKRD colleagues to support being a well-led, research-active organisation. 

The group met this month and reviewed questions for Louise Wood in January, responses to the Forum community survey and key outputs for 2020. Data sharing was identified as a big hot topic for which we are establishing a task and finish group in the New Year.

If you are interested in this work please email FAO Kate via for more information.

The Research Management Working Group also met this month and shared updates on activities and challenges. Group member Mark Terry has written up his experience of securing funding to support a salary gap between clinical fellows and research fellows in his Trust, The Royal Marsden. You can read his update in his summary paper: Medical & Dental Pay Scales for Junior Doctors here.

Mark is willing to share his experience in this area. If you would like further information contact mark.terry@rmh.nhs.u

The Primary Care & Commissioning Working Group has written to the Department of Health & Social Care about the risk to RCF following CCG mergers

As CCGs begin to merge the group has identified there may be an impact on RCF funding for CCGS. After exploring the issue and some modeling work by group Chair Clare Symms, the issues are now summarized in a comprehensive paper for colleagues at the Dept. Health & Social Care. 

If you have something you would like us to share or discuss at these groups or with policy makers, please get in touch via

Calls from the community

  • Do you have any examples of agreements you have used to support home care nurses in CTIMP studies?
  • Non-commercial costing templates

How do you review a study for sponsorship? 

We are collating sponsor assessment SOPS & review processes to help inform our development of some standards following on from the sponsors symposium table talks. Please email anything you have to

Excess Treatment Costs: One Year On

The NHSE&I, DHSC, CRNCC and partners update on progress made around ETCS, one year on from the implementation of new process, R&D Forum newsletter: NIHR CRN updates – December 2019.

Read the summary 

There is new guidance on the ETC main page for researchers, study teams and Sponsors on the SoECAT, including guidance on how to complete it. 

NIHR CRN update 

Research activity/Q3 datacut update

We’d like to remind colleagues that the NIHR CRN quarter 3 datacut will be fast approaching after the Christmas holidays; Friday January 24th. Please encourage timely LPMS research activity data upload to ensure all activity that has occurred in your organisation will be included in the reporting.

2019/20 Q3 CCG Excess Treatment Cost payment schedules will be produced using the manually uploaded research activity data and confirmed research activity data via LPMS only. The Q3 CCG Excess Treatment Cost payment schedules will also include 2019/20 Q1 and Q2 confirmed research activity data that had not been confirmed in the previous data cuts.

Provisional research activity data that is confirmed at a later quarter, i.e. Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2019/20, will be included in the 2019/20 Q4 CCG ETC payment schedules. For example recruitment activity recorded in CPMS as provisional in Q2 but confirmed in Q4 will be included in the Q4 CCG ETC payment schedules.

For any questions or further information, please contact your Local Clinical Research Network

Change in Excess Treatment Cost triage process as of 1st November 2019

Please note that the management of studies triaged for commissioner ETCs changed on Friday 1st November 2019.

Triage submissions will continue to be made via a single googleform and will be collated within a single central sheet for processing by the triage team but the triaging team itself, will be based within the NIHR CRNCC and will manage all queries on new triage submissions.

Please note that there is now only one googleform and that submissions for all potential commissioners should be submitted via this single route.

Over the coming months the NIHR CRNCC will be assessing the required information, in order to limit the requirement for extended email traffic, and will be endeavouring to improve both the initial googleform and the quality of communications that you may have previously been in receipt of.

All studies submitted via the googleform, for ETC triage, before 1st November 2019 will be completed, via the original route by NHSE, and will not be managed by the new NIHR CRNCC team. Queries related to all aspects of the ETC process should continue to be routed via the ETC Helpdesk

National Contract Value Review (NCVR) process: Upcoming appointment of National Coordinators

In preparation for the introduction of the National Contract Value Review process in April 2020, appointment of National Coordinators, responsible for undertaking the NCVR, will begin in January 2020.

NHS England and NHS Improvement and NIHR will be writing to R&D Directors at organisations that meet the eligibility criteria, inviting them to be a National Coordinator host site. Host sites will be asked to nominate skilled, experienced individuals from their organisation to undergo training and accreditation to undertake the role of National Coordinator from April 2020.

The appointment process and criteria for organisations will be published imminently on the NIHR website. Read more here or for more information on the National Coordinator role and appointments process, email: To find out more about the NCVR and ongoing work to improve study set up for commercial contract research in England, visit the NIHR website.

New resources in REX this month

Non-Commercial Sponsors Symposium Slide set includes:

  • Diary of a EudraCT user including top tips for anyone uploading results to EudraCT
  • How we sponsor (general): including general introduction, decision making, risk assessment, dealing with the unexpected and root cause analysis.
  • How we sponsor (specialist): ATMPS, Devices, AI & International Sponsorship 
  • Data Sharing 
  • HRA update 

Benefitting from the Research Effect: (Royal College of Physicians)

Includes a blog series supporting research in NHS Trusts 

  • RCP event slide set: embedding research in NHS Trusts
  • How District General Hospitals can become more research active: A Trust CEO perspective (Simon Constable FRCP, Chief Executive, Warrington & Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) 
  • How Alder Hey hospital enabled research time for healthcare professionals By Louise Shepherd CBE, chief executive, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
  • Research adrenaline junkie: how clinical research energised my carer Dr Matthew Brookes, consultant gastroenterologist at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • What are the financial benefits of research in the NHS Pratima Chowdary, professor and consultant of haematology at the Royal Free Haemophilia Centre.

Protocol Deviations Toolkit (Transcelerate) includes: 

  • Protocol Deviations Process Guide
  • Protocol Deviations Map
  • Protocol Deviations Assessment Plan
  • Protocol Deviations Management Toolkit Webinar 

Protocol Deviation Reporting: Cutting Through The Ambiguity (article) 
By Catherine Stewart, clinical sciences group lead, Pfizer, and Laura Galuchie, TransCelerate program lead, Merck

View the latest additions to the Resource Exchange here

Other News, Calls & Funding

The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry has published its first annual report into clinical trials. 
The report ‘Clinical trials: How the UK is researching medicines of the future’ aims to provide a definitive view of the UK’s domestic research environment and how it compares internationally.
For an overview of the report’s findings click here to read the ABPI blog 

Does your organisation host NIHR awards?

If so, then the annual Researchfish submission window will open on Monday 3 February 2020 and close at 16:00hrs on Thursday 12 March 2020. 
If your organisation hosts NIHR awards then you need to:
  • Ensure you organisational contact details are up to date in the NHS R&D Forum Directory as we use this as a means of communicating with you regarding the submission;
  • Alert award holders to the submission window in early 2020;
  • Encourage your researchers to begin entering information – an early start will reduce pressure closer to the deadline 
To find out more details regarding the Researchfish submission please visit our website: If you have any remaining questions then the NIHR Evaluation team can be contacted via

NIHR Funding Opportunities 

Health & Care Research Wales Funding Opportunities

Latest Jobs

New jobs this month – see here

Please submit your latest vacancies and we will also post on Twitter.

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