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Date: 25 January 2021

Innovation in Trial Design and Study Delivery during the COVID pandemic Podcast Series II

From Weds 27th January we will roll out a weekly podcast on Soundcloud aimed at anyone with an interest in designing, delivering or reviewing Innovation in Trail Design and Study Delivery. They are presented by experienced research professionals from across the research environment.

The research delivery infrastructure in the UK provided by the NIHR, working closely with the NHS, regulators and stakeholders, continues to deliver unparalleled clinical research activity to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  Agility, coordination and innovation are core attributes that are driving this impact made by our clinical research.  They are also attributes that will ensure the UK can regrow the comprehensive health and social care research portfolio as soon as the harm of the COVID-19 pandemic upon health and social care is overcome.  Drawing upon proven research infrastructure and our culture of continuous improvement from recent experience (such as those shared in this podcast series) provides this platform for future success.

The first podcasts will be live via this link from Weds 27th January.  We will release one podcast per week thereafter.

Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research – free online course

During this course you will learn how medical treatments are discovered, tested and evaluated to improve healthcare for all. New Research and Delivery staff and those interested in a career in Health Research will find this course particularly valuable.

The course runs for 4 weeks starting on Monday 8 February, which is when the Lead Educator and Mentors are actively involved in discussions with the learners. At the end of those weeks, the course will continue to run with little to no involvement from the Mentors. The course will continue to be open for learners to sign up to and take part in until the start of the next run of the course (in a few months time).

To find out more information about the course and to join, please follow the link to the course homepage: ‘Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research

Want to learn more about MOOCs and the free NIHR CRNCC online courses available on Futurelearn? Click the link

Contact: Tara-Sienna Hartman (

Vaccine Research Registry materials

The NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry ( continues to help people across the UK sign up for information on the new COVID-19 vaccine studies.

The registry, which was developed as part of the UK Government’s Vaccine Taskforce, in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), NHS Digital, and the Northern Ireland, Scottish and Welsh Governments, has already recruited large numbers of participants into several trials, and helped progress the search to find multiple effective COVID-19 vaccines.

We continue to work with the NHS to recruit people into open vaccine studies as well as plan for others. Researchers are still looking for people from all backgrounds, ages and parts of the UK, including both people with or without existing health conditions, to take part in vaccine studies, to make sure all vaccines developed work for everyone.

Research staff can help recruit interested participants to the registry by sharing a number of digital and printed material available at the NIHR Comms Site. All materials have been updated to reflect the need for more vaccines.


NIHR appoints new Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Dr Esther Mukuka has joined the NIHR in a newly established role as Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Esther will lead the ongoing development and implementation of the NIHR’s EDI strategy, helping to embed it across all of the organisation’s activities and the wide range of people that NIHR brings together.

Esther is an EDI practitioner with experience leading diversity and inclusion in higher education, the health sector and the private sector. Read more


NIHR Clinical Research Network appoints Research Delivery Director

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) has appointed Dr Kate Jones to the position of Research Delivery  Director. Kate is currently Chief Operating Officer of NIHR CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The appointment follows an open competitive selection process and Kate will take up post full time in April 2021.

As the national Research Delivery Director, Kate will be responsible for shaping and leading the delivery of the portfolio of health and care research studies managed by the NIHR CRN. She will work with leaders, staff and stakeholders across the NIHR, health and care service providers, research funders and sponsors to create innovative and collaborative strategies to optimise the delivery of health and care research in England. Read more.


COVID and Me Vaccine stories

Building on the success of the COVID and Me short films about taking part in COVID research, a new collection of videos is now available on the Be Part of Research website which focus on vaccine research. The dramas are performed by actors but based on real patient experiences. They were co-developed with different communities to build awareness and trust in COVID-19 vaccine research.

Translated versions of Varsha and Asif in Bangla, Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali and Hindi are now  available so that as many communities as possible can access these insightful videos.

Visit COVID and Me Vaccine stories to watch the collection.


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