Research governance

We provide a research governance service to the research community (both academic and commercial) for research in primary and community care settings across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Specifically, studies involving NHS staff, patients, patient data, and premises in our region.

Research governance is a broad range of regulations, principles and standards of good practice that exist to achieve research quality across all aspects of healthcare.

The research governance framework was introduced for many reasons, including safeguarding participants in research, enhancing ethical and scientific quality, minimising risk and promoting good practice.

Undertaking IRAS work on behalf of local projects

The Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) is the single system for applying for the permissions and approvals to do health and social care or community care research in the UK.

We help applicants to navigate their way through IRAS and review relevant forms prior to submission.

Working with the Clinical Research Network to support study set up

The Clinical Research Network (CRN) West of England is one of 15 Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRNs) spanning across England. The CRNs are funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Their role is to coordinate and support the delivery of research across the NHS in England.

We are a partner organisation of the CRN West of England and work with them to support set up and delivery of academic initiated primary care research and some commercial research studies.

Working with our local Community Provider, Sirona care & health

We work with Sirona care & health to support research conducted within their organisation. This includes the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio, commercial and student research.

If you are interested in doing research with Sirona care & health, please contact Penny Agent, Chief Therapy and Allied Health Professions Officer.

Issuing letters of access to staff undertaking research in our region

A letter of access permits a researcher to undertake research activities in the NHS. The way to obtain this depends on how the researcher is employed.

If you are non-NHS staff, then you must apply using the NIHR Research Passport. If you are NHS employed, you must complete a short pro forma confirming pre-engagement checks.

The Health Research Authority approval letter confirms expectations of what level of access is required for the study and the pre-engagement checks that should or should not be undertaken.

Supporting researchers with amendments to their research study

If you are required to change your research project after receiving the initial regulatory approval, then you need to notify the review body or bodies who approved the original project.

The requirements are set out in the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS). We can provide advice and guidance to applicants on how to submit amendments where our NHS organisations are participating sites. We also expect to be notified of amendments to research studies involving our region and will issue an approval of the amendment where applicable. This is dependent on the categorisation of the amendment.