We’ve collated below a list of helpful resources and websites that you might find useful as you progress through your clinical academic career.

We’ve split our list up into suggested areas, but all of the resources are open to everyone so do take a look through the lists to find the resources you are interested in.

Alongside the support and resources shown below, we also offer a range of events and training courses to support you and your development. You can find information about events that are currently open for registration on our events page, as well as further information on our complete event programme in our infographic.

Support for those getting started in research

This interactive learning platform - developed by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) partners in Kent, Surrey and Sussex - but relevant to all regions, has been designed to enable early career researchers to explore research within health and social care. 

The platform cover three levels:

  • Understanding research - For those at the very beginning of their research journey, who want to find out more about research, this section covers the structures in which clinical research is undertaken in the UK, and the basics of how clinical trials are administered.
  • Getting involved in research - For those looking for ways to get involved with research, this section covers how to increase confidence in understanding and implementing evidence, training and resources to develop as researchers and introduces some of the clinical research pathways that exist.
  • Developing your own research - For those who have their own research ideas that they'd like to develop, this section covers topics like how to go from an idea to a written protocol, apply for funding, ethics and gaining relevant permissions and develop a research career.

Find out more and view the platform.

GCP is an international, ethical and scientific quality standard for the design, conduct and recording of research involving humans.

Comprised of 13 core principles, GCP applies to all clinical investigations that could affect the safety and well-being of human participants (in particular, clinical trials of medicinal products). For further information about GCP, please visit the GCP Courses page on the Joint Research Compliance Office (JRCO) site.

The NIHR offers 2 types of GCP training courses - eLearning and face to face, both courses are bookable online. 

Queries should be directed to the NW London CRN crnnwlondon@nihr.ac.uk

Library Services are part of Imperial College London and provide a range of library services to all staff
members at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation

They will help you find and navigate the information and evidence to support you in your role in quality patient care, service development, research, education & CPD by:

  • Connecting you to cutting-edge research.
  • Supporting you with training on finding and using information and evidence.
  • Offering conveniently located libraries and specialised NHS Support Librarians.
  • Providing a quiet space to work, study, or reflect with a coffee.

The library also run training sessions especially for NHS staff to support your learning, help you find evidence faster, and turn your research into practice. All NHS clinical and non-clinical staff from associated trusts are welcome.

These sessions follow the standards of the different health professionals' bodies (GMC, NMC, GPhC, HCPC, IHM), and can also be used as part of your CPD for revalidation.

For more information on what the Library can do for you visit their website.


This guide has been designed by the NIHR to assist both aspiring clinical academics and their managers to make the most of the opportunities that exist through Health Education England (HEE) and the NIHR.

The handbook aims to support health care professionals to combine clinical activity with patient-focused research. In particular, it will be of interest to NMAHPPs applying for NIHR personal awards. It also aims to help clinicians who are interested in becoming involved in research, but do not know where to begin. 

View the handbook online.

The Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre has developed the Clinical Research Training Framework to develop the skills that a clinician of any professional background requires in order to support clinical research. 

The Framework is a great starting point for understanding the knowledge, skills and competencies required of clinical researchers. It suggests ideas of how you can go about achieving these skills and also contains a self-reflection logbook that can be completed in exchange for certification.

You can find out more and download the Framework on the CATO website.


The world of clinical research can be full of acronyms. To help you understand what they mean, we have included some of the more common ones here.

AHSC Academic Health Science Centre
BRC Biomedical Research Centre
CATO Clinical Academic Training Office
CLARHC/ARC Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care/Applied Research Collaboration
CPD Continuing Professional Development
CRN Clinical Research Network
C&W Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
GCP Good Clinical Practice
GMC General Medical Council
HRA Health Research Authority
HPAG Healthcare Professional Academic Group
ICHT Imperial College Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
ICL Imperial College London
ICR Institute for Cancer Research
ICTU Imperial Clinical Trials Unit
IRAS Integrated Research Approval System
MHRA Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency
NMC Nursing and Midwifery Council
PERC Imperial Patient Experience Research Centre
PPIE Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement
QI Quality Improvement
R&D Research and Development
RGIT Research Governance and Integrity Team
REC Research Ethics Committee
RBHH Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals
RMH The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust


Support for those doing research

There are 3 main stages of approvals before you can start recruitment to a research project running in the NHS. These are Sponsorship approval, Research Ethics Committee (REC) and Health Research Authority (HRA) Approval and Confirmation of Capacity and Capability (CCC).

Written in conjunction with the Research Governance and Integrity Team (RGIT), this document provides details on how best to gain Sponsorship approval and CCC for those who are undertaking a research study which is Imperial College Healthcare Trust (ICHT) or College sponsored, and where ICHT is a study site.

Download the document.

The Clinical Academic Training Office acts as a central information hub for guiding fellows as they undertake PhD programmes, advance through their clinical academic careers and move into further research fellowships.  Support includes a number of bespoke activities and resources, together with reference to other useful external resources and guidance.  See the ‘Support for clinical PhD fellows’ section for further details.

The Research Design service

The NIHR funded Research Design Service provides design and methodological support to health and social care researchers to develop grant applications to the NIHR and other peer-reviewed funding programmes. RDS London is part of a network of regional support services funded by the NIHR. They form a key part of the research infrastructure and provide advice and guidance free of charge through consultation with experts and use of online resources. Further information is available on the RDS London website.

This highly regarded 3-day annual event is delivered by the NIHR Infrastructure Team.  The Training Camp provides participants with a unique opportunity to develop key research skills and the chance to mix with people from different research backgrounds and levels of expertise. The CATO team coordinates nominations and selection of NIHR funded ICL/ICHT research staff to receive free places to attend. The Training Camp usually takes place in July and the call for nominations is made in March/April of each year. 

The Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, public health specialists and social scientists combining strengths in quantitative and qualitative research methods. We aim to promote active communication between patients, researchers and clinical staff to address real problems, and through this improve the quality of healthcare and the impact of translational research.

Please visit the PERC website for more information. 

Other useful websites and resources

Imperial College London has put together a web page, bringing together a selection of online courses which can be accessed by NHS Staff.

The resource brings together a range of courses, categorised by theme, into one easy to use page. All courses are online, mixed-mode or blended learning.

If courses come with a fee, you may be eligible to use your CATO short courses bursary to help cover the costs.

This toolkit, produced by the Royal College of Physicians with support from the NIHR aims to provide information for physicians to help them get engaged in research in lots of different ways.  Although produced for physicians, much of the information and guidance is useful for all healthcare professions. It includes an overview of research options, research career pathways and case studies/resources.

View the research engagement toolkit (pdf).

The CHAIN Network for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals in Clinical Academic Research

CHAIN - Contact, Help, Advice and Information Network - is an online mutual support network for people working in health and social care. It gives people a simple and informal way of contacting each other to exchange ideas and share knowledge. The aim is to encourage greater linkage across the nursing, midwifery and AHP communities to promote clinical academic research and to help and support those wanting to apply for awards and sources of research funding. Find out further information at the CHAIN website.

Clinfield – this is an organisation with a focus on career development for research practitioners, offering resources and details about training courses.


Vitae is the global leader in supporting the professional development of researchers, experienced in working with institutions as they strive for research excellence, innovation and impact.

Please visit the Vitae website for more information. 

The HRA website provides useful information about planning research, ethics applications and runs research approvals. 

HRA Approval brings together the HRA's assessment of governance and legal compliance with the independent ethical opinion by a Research Ethics Committee (REC). HRA Approval is for all project based research involving the NHS and Health and Social Care (HSC) that is being led from England; visit the HRA website for more information.

The AHSC Research Informatics Committee has put together a schematic which provides high-level information/signposting for researchers on the bioresource assets available across the AHSC’s NHS partners and the enquiry point for each organisation.

Download the schematic: Bioresources for researchers (pdf)

Health Education England’s Genomics Education Programme exists to deliver and advise on learning and development opportunities that prepare current and future NHS professionals to make the best use of genomics in their practice.

Through their website you can access a range of genomics education modules, many of which are free, and learn more about genomics in healthcare.

They also offer a Master’s in Genomic Medicine framework, which is an educational programme designed to provide healthcare professionals with a multidisciplinary perspective on genomics and its applications in healthcare.  This is a flexible framework offering a range of qualifications. Individuals can undertake continued personal and professional development (CPPD) modules, a postgraduate certificate or diploma, or a full Master’s degree. As an NHS professional, you may be able to apply for course funding for this. You can find out more on the website.