The ICRF provides a high-quality environment in which to train healthcare professionals and scientists across all grades who are interested in clinical research. We are committed to building capacity to support clinical research.

Training and development for CRF staff

All staff undertake a full, tailored induction programme and are mentored in post by their more experienced colleagues. Their training and development needs are discussed regularly and objectives are set. We have recently implemented a new local research progression pathway, based on the UKCRF Network competencies for our research nurses.

Staff are encouraged to pursue further education, including Masters degrees, PhDs, Advanced Nurse Practitioner programmes, and the FPM Diploma in Experimental Therapeutics with assistance in funding their further education.

Funding is also made available for staff to attend conferences, meetings and training courses outside the ICRF e.g. the UKCRF Network Conference, MHRA and Ethics/GCP forum, Imperial Leadership and Management Development Programme, Springboard Leadership Programme, Clinfield Lab skills course.

All ICRF staff are trained in Good Clinical Practice (GCP). There are weekly designated refresher training sessions for ICRF studies. Training days are held regularly on all aspects of clinical research. Regular emergency scenarios and resuscitation simulations are carried out to ensure continual experience in identifying and dealing with medical emergencies; all staff attend life support training commensurate with their role. Staff maintain their own training records including keeping up-to-date with SOPs and policies; these are reviewed by the QA Manager and Quality Officer and regularly audited.

One of our Senior Research Nurses has taken on the role of Workforce Skills and Development Manager to lead on and organise ICRF training.

We have appointed a Wellbeing Champion volunteer position within the CRF, with staff rotating through the role on a six monthly basis. They promote, identify and signpost ways to support the wellbeing of their colleagues.

Staff EDI Networks

EDI networks are available across both ICL and ICHNT to provide space for staff to network and to provide advice and support.

ICHNT Networks

ICL Networks

Training and development for non-CRF staff

ICRF staff provide training and assessment in practical procedures, such as venepuncture and aseptic technique. The QA and Governance Manager also provides ad hoc mentoring and support for researchers in applying GCP and associated guidance.

The ICRF hosts around 6 student nurses per year, working under supervision for up to eight weeks, and three ICHNT Academic Clinical Fellows (at F2 level) per year to expose these research-orientated junior doctors to experimental medicine and train in clinical research.

The ICRF Director and Co-director work closely with the Imperial Clinical Academic Training Office which offers a wide range of opportunities and support activities to enable clinicians (doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, allied health professionals and healthcare scientists) to become involved in research and education. Through a range of initiatives trainees and other healthcare professionals can complete their training/carry out roles whilst learning and undertaking research alongside internationally renowned clinicians and researchers.

In addition to CATO, Imperial researchers are able to access Training – NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.

The Trust and College have also established research groups (Imperial Health care Professionals Academic Group and the ICHNT Clinical Academic Research Committee) for peer-to-peer support and mentoring for those interested in pursuing a career in clinical medicine.

Masters in Clinical Research

The CRF Director, together with Professor Gary Frost, leads a Masters in Clinical Research, which recruits over 30 students per year from different backgrounds, introducing them to the principles of clinical research and providing 11 month research projects. The Masters consists of three dedicated pathways, Translational Medicine, Diabetes and Obesity and Human Nutrition. The course allows students to develop the essential clinical research skills in their area of interest and to prepare them for a clinical research oriented career or further research studies eg a PhD.


Induction training

Before the study may start in the CRF, researchers will need to undertake CRF induction. The induction process for new researchers is described in ICRF-OR05.06 Induction to ICRF (PDF). The study for which access is required must have been approved by the Protocol Review Board.

The following forms will need to be completed and provided to ICRF reception (imperial.icrfinduction@nhs.net) before an induction meeting will be arranged.

  • ICRF-OR05 Fm1 New User Application Form and Checklist v7 (doc)
  • CV guidance and template NRES (signed and dated within 2 years)
  • GCP Training (completed within 2 years) - Note that refresher training is only valid if you have previously done the full ‘Introduction to GCP’
  • Trust Contract, Licence to Attend or Letter of Access (as applicable)
  • Acknowledgment of relevant ICRF SOPs via EQMS

You may wish to read the following prior to making your PRB application