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October 2022 Newsletter

Date: 31 October 2022

Welcome to the Forum October 2022 Newsletter

As the Autumn leaves are falling, we are delighted that some RDForum events are getting back to face to face.  Although we have kept connected, sharing and influencing over the recent times the added value of actual networking cannot be underestimated.  The first face to face training course took place in Birmingham earlier this month, and we have received great feedback, which highlighted the benefits of delegates being back in a room together.

The Symposium on ICS and Research in Leeds, was a great success (read more below) with over 100 people in the room hugging, sharing stories and experiences, there was a real buzz.  How the new organisations, Integrated Care Boards and Systems develop their Research approach is such a current and important topic and with key stakeholders of NHS confederations, NHSE, DHSC, CRN and HRA we were delighted to lead this and share in the journey.

This has given us so much food for thought and opportunities for RDForum to contribute and influence in the months ahead so ….…. watch this space.

Best Regards,

Shona Haining
Executive, NHS R&D Forum

Do you want to give a presentation or display a poster at RDF23?    

The NHS Research and Development Forum are inviting abstracts for presentation at RDF23 Conference, taking place next May.  Abstracts are being invited for both posters and oral presentations.

Your presentation or poster should relate to the process, the structure, improving efficiency, improving quality, promoting best practice or adding value in R&D studies, teams, departments or organisations.  Presenting an abstract provides you with an opportunity to share your experience and knowledge with the wider community in health and care research.

For full details on submission guidelines, please visit our website below.

(Please note deadline dates are 30th November for Oral presentation and 31st December for Posters)

Read more here




The Forum ICS and Research Symposium – Round Up  

Over 100 delegates gathered on the 13th October in Leeds, for one of the NHS Research and Development Forum’s first in-person events following the pandemic.

The aim of this event was to share current work and thinking with regards to research and ICSs/ICBs with attendees from R&D organisations across England, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) Leads, Managers, Directors and interested stakeholders.

Our main speakers from the day were from NHS Confederation, DHSC, NHS England, NIHR CRN and HRA.  All speaker presentations, have been added to the R&D Forum website.  

Delegates welcomed the opportunity to meet colleagues and peers from across England, face to face once again and the coffee breaks were a hub of conversations and valuable networking.

There was a clear appetite for a follow-up session and this is something to R&D Forum will consider following this successful symposium.  To read more about the day, view presentations and some photos, please click the link below.

Read more here


Monthly Forum Working Group Update

Hello, I am Berit Reglar, and I am the new Chair of the AI and Data Research Working Group. I am the Deputy Director of Research Governance and Research Data Governance, as well as the Data Protection Officer, at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.  I am a qualified solicitor and provide the Trust wide expert legal and data protection advice, and support across the RD&I portfolio.

The AI and Data Research Working Group is a professional community of NHS/HE R&D and IG staff across the UK that meets online bimonthly. The focus of the group is the secondary use of patient data for research and technological innovation, such as AI development. In this rapidly evolving and expanding field, group members benefit from sharing experiences, best practice, documents and information about the latest guidance, policy and legislation.  In addition, the group aims to provide a collective voice for governance professionals to engage with relevant regulators including the HRA.

Topics the group has been exploring include defining data research/AI development in the NHS versus clinical activity; anonymisation (and the application of GDPR and confidentiality law); controller and processor arrangements; transparency and patient engagement; intellectual property and commercialisation; data linkage and Secure Data Environments. The group plans to deliver outputs in these topic areas.

If you would like to join the mailing list for the group, please email

Update from the R&D Forum/UKRD Finance Managers Group

Update from Working group Chair, Sue Keenan:

The R&D Forum/UKRD Finance Managers met at the end of September for another great discussion.  Primarily we reviewed the responses from the Annual Research Finance Survey that was conducted in the summer.  This highlighted a number of key topics that the research community are concerned about, so we have set up task and finish groups to explore these further:

  • Inflation for NIHR awards, grants, CRN Allocations and studies
  • Funding for research offices and overhead functions
  • Astox returns – could the returns be consistent for all NIHR returns
  • CRN returns – can they be streamlined and more efficient?

In addition, we have agreed to review the finance guidance next year.  This is an iterative guidance, so if anyone has any feedback at any time, please contact us on the email below.  The group agreed to continue to meet virtually every 2 months to keep momentum for task and finish groups, once a year in person to maintain networking opportunities.  Our next meeting is virtually in November 2022. We are also hoping to have a presence (stand and/or workshop) at the R&D Forum in May 2023, so look forward to meeting some of you then, and talking all things research finance!

Read more here

R&D Forum Contact Directory

Please can we ask that you check that our Contact Directory listing for you is up to date. Many organisations, including HRA, use this to contact you about studies and if the information is incorrect this causes delays, additional work and could result in you not receiving important information.

Contact Directory


Essentials of NHS Research

19th-20th December

This course was previously known as  ‘Research the Basics’ but evaluation feedback consistently told us that it wasn’t really basic. Updated material includes a whole new look package of essentials for anyone looking for a complete overview of NHS R&D management.

This is a two day course. The first day covers the overall research landscape and the legislation and regulations that govern it, as well as the various aspects of research management and governance. Day two concentrates more on the design, development and management of a research project, as well as looking at wider issues of leadership and strategy.  The course is a mixture of traditional trainer presentation with interactive activities and discussions.

Book here

RDF 2022 Events Schedule

To view what else we have planned for the rest of the year, please click below.

ARMA Conference

ARMA – The Association of Research Managers and Administrators – is holding its annual conference in November 2022 in hybrid format.  The event is a 3-day event, with days 1 and 2 (12th and 16th November) taking place in the virtual environment and day 3 (22nd November) in person at Newcastle. The title of the conference is ‘Connecting Communities – building resilience and value in an evolving international research ecosystem’. More information can be found on the ARMA website.

Find out more here

Indemnity cover for NHS staff delivering research

Joint statement from NIHR, DHSC and NHS helpfully makes it clearer how indemnity cover protects NHS staff who do research.  One of the best ways for us to do this is to remove any barriers that may exist for people wanting to do research.

We work closely with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) to identify any barriers in the research process – and remove them where we can.

An issue we have received lots of questions about recently is indemnity arrangements for NHS staff delivering research outside of traditional NHS settings.

The statement has been written in partnership with NHS Resolution, NIHR and DHSC to provide clarification on the existing arrangements which remain unchanged.

Read more here

NHS England launches ICS Research Engagement Network Development programme

As we have seen throughout recent years, research can be transformative for the health sector. Research can help ICSs to address their local health priorities and to plan for healthier futures; evidence shows that patients treated at research active healthcare providers experience better outcomes, and staff satisfaction is higher. NHS England’s Innovation, Research and Life Sciences team are launching a programme to support ICSs to increase diversity in research participation through the development of new or existing research networks and activity. ICSs are invited to propose and test a mix of approaches that enable ICSs to

  • grow their local research networks with local stakeholders, especially the local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector
  • engage communities in local research priorities
  • further develop a greater diversity of local participation in research
  • generate evidence to demonstrate whether support for research networks across multiple organisations can be effective in increasing diversity in research

Up to seven ICSs will be awarded up to £100,000 each to test a range of locally determined approaches to deliver these ambitions.  The ICSs will need to do this in partnership with their VCSE alliance or other VCSE groups, and their local NIHR Clinical Research Network or other NIHR infrastructure. To provide more information about the programme and how to apply we are running two webinars.  If you are interested in applying please register, by clicking link below.

Read more here

Rescuing patient access to industry clinical trials in the UK

The ABPI has this month published a report entitled ‘Rescuing patient access to industry clinical trials in the UK’. In the report, they include 11 short-term recommendations which they feel are essential to regain the UK’s competitiveness in industry clinical research. These recommendations are in addition to the long-term recommendations as set out in their 2021 report Clinical Research in the UK: An opportunity for growth. Read the recent report, by clicking link below.

Read more here

Edinburgh Clinical Research Methodology Course 2023

This two-day course provides a comprehensive overview of the methods and frameworks currently required to perform cutting-edge clinical research.

The course will consist of interactive lectures and opportunities for delegates to network with distinguished researchers, all of whom are recognised experts in their field.

Aimed at practitioners at all levels from all disciplines (medical, allied health professionals, nursing and midwifery staff and scientists) who have an interest in or are actively engaged in clinical research.

Date: Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th March 2023

Find out more here

Your Path In Research – campaign launching 31 October 

NIHR’s Your Path In Research campaign kicks off on Monday 31 October 2022 with a special 2 week focus on research careers in public health and social care. The campaign will highlight how public health and social care staff can make research part of their career. We will showcase inspiring case studies from those working in the field and give people the opportunity to chat and connect with researchers online via our Link and Learn matchmaking service.

Read more here

Improving Healthcare through Clinical Research – An NIHR Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Have you, or someone you know, ever wondered what health research is and what it involves? Do you want to know what the common myths are and explore ways to get involved?

Would you like to hear from people who have taken part in health research and learn why they volunteered?

By joining this free access online course you will discover how research is improving healthcare; find out what’s involved in health research, bust the common myths surrounding health research and explore ways to get involved.

The course runs for 4 weeks and you can start whenever you want.  To find out more and join, please click link below.

Find out more here

NIHR Updates

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.


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