Is my research eligible for NIHR portfolio adoption?

Is my research study eligible for NIHR portfolio adoption?

For a study to be considered for portfolio adoption it must:

    • Meet the Health Research Authority (HRA) definition of research:

Research can be defined as the attempt to derive generalisable or transferable new knowledge to answer or refine relevant questions with scientifically sound methods. This excludes: audit; needs assessments; quality improvement and other local service evaluations. It also excludes routine banking of biological samples or data except where this activity is integral to a self-contained research project designed to test a clear hypothesis.

    • Have appropriate ethical approval; and HRA Approval where required.
    • Have full research funding (i.e. funding to meet all Research Costs in compliance with the AcoRD guidance).


The source of research funding is the principal determinant of eligibility for NIHR portfolio adoption:

    • Studies that are funded by the NIHR and / or other areas of central Government and those which are funded by NIHR non-commercial partners, are automatically eligible for consideration for NIHR CRN support provided they meet the definition of research above. Please find more information on the Department of Health and Social Care eligibility criteria.

How to apply for NIHR CRN support?

If you think your study is eligible for portfolio adoption, please submit a Portfolio Application Form in IRAS following the how to apply for CRN support link before starting the HRA Approval process (if required). Early engagement with NIHR CRN support helps with optimising study delivery upfront. If it is not automatically eligible, the CRN Eligibility Team and speciality subject specific experts will carry out the assessment and decide whether the study is eligible for portfolio adoption.

If your study falls outside the scope of the HRA but meets the eligibility criteria for CRN support please make direct contact with your Lead LCRN and they will submit a manual application on your behalf.

If you require any local advice on applying for portfolio adoption or on eligibility criteria please contact StudySupportService.Eastern@NIHR.ac.uk. Alternatively, please contact the central portfolio team at Portfolio.Applications@NIHR.ac.uk.

Once your study has been granted the portfolio eligibility status, you can contact the NIHR study delivery officer Holly Roper at Holly.Roper@NIHR.ac.uk for local access to CRN-funded possibilities to aid recruitment.

Further information

  • Further information on eligibility for NIHR support with eligibility FAQs, and a top tips checklist for NIHR Clinical Research Network support portfolio adoption, can be found here.
  • You can also find benefits of portfolio adoption here.