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Our research policies

Requirements for HRA-Approved Clinical Research

For all clinical research that needs Health Research Authority (HRA) approval (refer to criteria for HRA approval), a Schedule of Events Costs Attribution Template (SoECAT) must be completed, approved and submitted with the grant application. Only clinical research needs HRA approval. For researchers carrying out clinical research outside of England, email for guidance.

You will need the assistance of a local AcoRD specialist to complete and approve the SoECAT form. For further information see the NIHR website.

We strongly recommend you contact your local AcoRD specialist as soon as you know you are planning a piece of clinical research, to allow sufficient time for completion and approval of SoECAT before the grant application deadline. 

From 1 April 2023 applicants will be required to use the online NIHR Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS). In order to create a SoECAT you will need to create and activate an account in CPMS. Please refer to the user guide for further guidance on creating an account.

Guidance for completion of the SoECAT is present in an online tool. Further details can be found on the Online SoECAT Guidance page and within the Online SoECAT Guidance Module, which includes video tutorials and linked resources (an NIHR Learn account is required to access and enrol onto this module).

Assistance with designing your research application is also available from the NIHR CRN and Research Design Service.

We’re a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). Find more useful information on the AMRC website .

Animal research and the NC3Rs

Please refer to the NC3Rs’ ARRIVE guidelines when designing animal experiments and ensure you report animal-based studies in accordance with the ARRIVE guidelines. Grant holders are required to implement the principles found in the NC3Rs’ guidance document, Responsibility in the use of Animals in Bioscience Research. For more information and guidance about the use of animals in research see the NC3Rs website.

If the research involves use of higher animals (cats, dogs, equines, pigs, non-human primates), the proposal will be sent to NC3Rs for specialist peer review. This will be in addition to the regular scientific peer reviews of the application.

We supports the Association of Medical Research Charities’ policy on animal research – refer to our position statement on animal research.

OTHER ways to get involved

Our research strategy

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For researchers

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Questions about our grants

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