Menu Close

Latest News

Latest news and updates

January 2024 Newsletter

Date: 31 January 2024

Welcome to the Forum November 2023 Newsletter

We hope you all enjoyed any Halloween and Bonfire Night treats you had planned despite the prevailing weather conditions we experienced and remained safe. We now march on to the festive season which will be upon us in no time soon.

It has been a welcome month to network and collaborate with colleagues from our wider research community. We had the opportunity to meet with colleagues at the IAOCR Clinical Research Industry Think Tank in Liverpool and at the UKTMN 25th Anniversary Event in Nottingham where lots of connections were made, follow-ups to be had and collective changes to be made.

I look forward to representing the Forum in my new role on the Executive and working with you to navigate and influence how we deliver research across the four nations.

And finally a quick reminder, please note that the submission deadline for oral abstracts are closing at the end of this month for RDF24. Get those submissions in and best of luck.

Dipak Patel, NHS RDF Trustee

Meet the new R&D Forum Trustees

The Board oversees the strategic direction and daily operations of the Forum as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and as a network. The Board is responsible for the governance and financial oversight of all activities, including communications and the conference and events programme.

The new CIO trustees are Dipak Patel, Margaret Cooper, Sean Scott and Carolyn Maloney.

Please see this page for more information and to read their biographies, including the elected Chair Angela Topping.

Book your place for RDF24

The R&D Forum are delighted to share that over 500 Delegates have already booked to attend RDF24 at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Book your place today and join the UK wide professional community in research management, support & leadership in health and care, for learning, sharing and networking.

RDF24 will see full two days of content, conference dinner and awards, as well as two workshops on Sunday followed by networking, not to mention a poster display throughout the main two days. Find out more on our website below.

Find out more

Joint letter to R&D Community Colleagues around the development of the Research Delivery Network (RDN) – January update

The Research and Development Forum (RDF), the University Hospital Association (UHA) and UKRD are representing the UK R&D community in the current “stage 1” process of designing the services and functions of the new National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Research Delivery Network (RDN). The four signatories to the letter have been involved in workshops and meetings with colleagues leading this commissioning process from the Department of Health and Social Care as well as senior leaders from the current Clinical Research Network Coordinating Centre and LCRNs. The letter summarises key points so far from their involvement in this process.

Read the letter here

The Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) Network – Interview with Angela Topping, Chair of The R&D Forum

The ECMC Network caught up with Angela Topping, Chair of The R&D Forum.

Angela has previously worked with the ECMC network and the interview is about her new chair role and thoughts on how The R&D Forum and ECMC Network can continue to work together.

Read more here

The UK R&D Contacts Directory – Please Review and Update Details

The UK R&D Contacts Directory is a valuable tool that provides the contact details of all R&D offices and non-commercial sponsors across the UK. In England this also includes the associated NIHR Clinical Research Network details.

If you need to make a change, please email us at and include the following information:

  • Reference number of your entry
  • The specific changes you require
  • Your position and confirmation that you have permission to request the change

Working Group of the Month

The Wider Health and Care and Community Working Group is a forum to support those people who are supporting health and care research taking place in Local Authorities, Community Providers, Care Homes, Hospices – all those areas of health and care delivery that are outside the remit of the Health Research Authority. The group is chaired by Paul Roy, Research Manager at NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB.

This is a lively welcoming group, with membership open to any and all, whether working exclusively in these organisations, or working on a particular project operating in previously unchartered territories. We are fortunate to have members from the Clinical Research Network (CRN), Health Research Authority (HRA) and have been joined by NHS England.

We’ve identified several areas where we might make some immediate positive impacts, and have established Task and Finish groups to tackle these:

  1. A Research Ready pack/guidance for Local Authorities.
  2. A Research Ready pack/guidance for Hospices

Several of our group members supported the pilot of a Universal Letter of Assurance process developed by NOCLOR which organisations can use to help make sure researchers entering their premises have all the appropriate qualifications and checks.

Find out more about our Working Groups here.

Upcoming Courses

The R&D Forum courses have been designed to support individual development in health research management, support, and leadership.

Bookings are open for our upcoming courses taking place this February:

Full details of all our courses and events, and how to book your place, can be found on our website.

NIHR Updates

NIHR consultation on Revenue Sharing Arrangements

The NIHR is currently consulting on a Policy and Guidance for Determining Revenue Sharing Arrangements. The R&D Forum and UKRD have the opportunity to share any comments and responses to the consultation in a written response to NIHR. This call for responses to the consultation is open to all UKRD and R&D Forum members. We will also be providing input from the R&D Forum Contracts Working Group.

Please submit your response by 9th February.

Read more here

UK Vaccine Innovation Fund

The NIHR are excited to share updates regarding the upcoming Vaccine Innovation Fund, a pivotal component of the Moderna Strategic Partnership with the UK.

Following their extensive consultations and workshops with leaders across the UK health research landscape, they are pleased to announce that the Vaccine Innovation Fund call is scheduled for the 11th of March.

This fund aims to strategically address gaps in capacity and capability, accelerating the delivery of clinical trials of vaccines and mRNA therapeutics.

The focus of the call will centre around two key areas:
A. Research Capacity Building in three priority domains:

  • Clinical trials pharmacy
  • GP practices
  • Residential care homes

B. Increasing Participant Diversity in clinical trials of vaccines

Read more here

Clinical trials best practice guide 2024

The need to improve clinical trial set-up processes in order to reduce timelines and increase patients’ access to research has been consistently on the UK life sciences agenda for several years. It has been highlighted as an area of importance in conversations between the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Shelford Group Chief Executive and Medical Directors, and UKRD – R&D leaders in the NHS.

Last year these three partner organisations convened a working group of senior NHS Research and Development (R&D) leaders and pharmaceutical company representatives to help achieve a common understanding of where the main challenges are, and how they can be addressed.

Read more here

NIHR Capital Investment Call 2023/2024

Applications are welcome for the NIHR Capital Investment Funding Call competition.

The purpose of this competition is to provide funding for tangible fixed research assets (capital) to NHS organisations across England. It is the first in a series of annual capital investment calls, each providing funding of up to £30m.

Read more here

How to be a good Chief Investigator: one-day UKCRC CTU Network-supported workshops

Do you know a Chief Investigator who would like a refresher on how to interact with a clinical trials unit (CTU)? Or one who is about to work with you and wants to get up to speed? Or perhaps someone initially considering working with a CTU?

Leeds, Nottingham and Cardiff CTUs will be hosting workshops covering these topics, with expert keynote speakers, group work and a host of other interesting activities.

Read more here

Harnessing primary care data for clinical research and trial recruitment

The health and care system produces a vast amount of data that can support research and deliver improvements in the quality of care patients receive. Primary care data are of particular importance due to their quality, richness, and longitudinal nature. It can serve to identify patients eligible for recruitment into clinical trials, be used to enrich other sources of data to carry out clinical research or be used to generate real-world evidence. Newmarket Strategy has published the paper “Harnessing primary care data for clinical research and trial recruitment, sponsored by EMIS”.

Read more here

Contacting the R&D Forum

As a reminder, should you need to contact the Forum the best way is via email which is

The latest job vacancies displayed on our website.


Click to go back to News Listing

Latest News

Latest News

Click for the latest news and updates from the R&D Community.
Virtual Courses
Learning & Development

Virtual Courses

Virtual classroom courses covering R&D topics
RDF24 News

RDF24 News

Find out all the latest information about our Annual Conference