Research HR Good Practice

The Research Office currently manages issuing letters of access and honorary research contracts for primary and community care organisations in the NHS. This is in line with national processes - Research in the NHS - HR Good Practice. Please see the national guidance for information as requirements can frequently change.
The Research Office will review HR requirements alongside the review of the research application and will be in touch if it is thought a letter of access or honorary research contract is required.
There is more detailed information on the NIHR website but, broadly, there are two types of researcher:
NHS employed researcher - for researchers employed by another NHS Trust the office will need their HR
department to complete a pre-engagement check form. Once the research office has this form along with a copy of their CV a letter of access is issued. Note that honorary research contracts are never issued to NHS employed researchers as they already are covered by NHS indemnity scheme.
HEI employed researcher - for HEI employed researcher, the research passport form needs to be completed, with input from HR and line manager. Once complete this needs sending to the research office along with a copy of the CV. Researchers may also need to submit an occupational health form and DBS confirmation - the need for these is determined by the activity of the researcher and the algorithm on the NIHR website can assist with this.
Please note that the HR Good Practice for researchers do not extend to commercially employed researchers. Practices and community organisations need to ensure all parties are aware of their responsibilities through an agreement, and also may wish to use a confidentiality agreement if commercially employed researchers are coming on site to undertake activity.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since the dissolution of PCTs new arrangements for the issuing honorary research contracts in primary care are being developed by the NIHR and NHS England. In the interim, an agreement has been reached with the East of England LAT in NHS England. If you believe you need an honorary research contract in primary care please contact the