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March 2023 Newsletter

Date: 31 March 2023

Welcome to the Forum March 2023 Newsletter

Welcome to our third Newsletter of 2023.

Aside from the recent snow, it’s starting to feel like Spring is on the way – and we’re so excited to be able to announce the full programme for the conference in May, and can’t wait to see everyone together. Newcastle is such a vibrant city – I hope you’ll join us for a walking tour on the Sunday, before the main programme gets going.

We also spring into action with our new year of training courses which always get booked up quickly – so don’t delay in securing a place.

A time for renewal and change within our leadership team too – and there’s still time to apply to join us our board of trustees as we plan for the future of the forum and how we support our membership in the coming years.

Best Wishes,

Nicola Williams
Executive, NHS R&D Forum

Programme Announced for RDF23

The NHS Research and Development Forum is delighted to announce that the conference programme for RDF23 is now available. RDF23 will see more delegates, more speakers, more sessions, more exhibitors, and more posters than before.

We have had an amazing response to the conference so far, and can’t wait to welcome over 700 people who have already booked to attend. To ensure you have the best choice of the remaining hotels when making your booking, we recommend you register shortly.

Find out more

Research & Development Forum Trustee – Expression of Interest – CLOSING DATE 31ST MARCH

We are seeking to appoint up to three trustees who possess the skills, knowledge and experience needed to take the R&D Forum forward.

Expressions of Interest are sought from members of NHS R&D Forum to join the Board of Trustees of the charity that leads the work of the R&D Forum (Charity 1189876).

Closing date for applications is Friday 31st March 2023.

Find out more

The Wider Health and Care and Community Working Group Update

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.

We have 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’ve identified several areas where we might make some immediate positive impacts, and have established Task and Finish groups to tackle these – visit our website below to find out more.

If you are interested in joining the Wider Health and Care and Community Working Group please contact

Find out more

#Red4Research Friday 16th June 2023

We are looking forward to the annual #Red4Research day on Friday 16th June. This campaign was founded and is led by Sally Humphreys chair of the NHS R&D Forum Research Management Working Group, PhD student at University of Hertfordshire and NHS research nurse.

You will be able to find out more about how to get involved with #Red4Research on the RDF website – there will be various social media resources and email signatures available soon. Watch this space!

Find out more

NHS R&D Forum Prioritising Studies – Task and Finish Group Update

The Forum held the first NHS R&D Forum Prioritising Studies – Task and Finish Group in March. The aim of this group is to produce and design some high-level guidance to provide support for R&D offices in circumstances of staff shortages within the delivery teams. This document will aid discussions with NHS Trust Boards, Chief Nurses and Directors of Operations, in the event of strikes and other workforce pressures. A number of actions have been taken forward by the group and we will update via the Hive Mind. The group are hoping to publish a broad set of principles that can be applied to all applicable NHS organisations.

Find out more


2023 – Course Schedule

We are pleased to advise that the training team have set the course schedule for 2023, some of which will remain virtual and others returning to In-Person, which we feel is a massive benefit to what you can learn together and share experiences.

Currently bookings are open for courses running from January – March, further bookings to open soon. To review the full schedule, click the link below.

2023 Courses – view here

Next In-Person Training Course

Regulatory Inspection Ready

26th April 2023

We are happy to finally be able to offer this popular course, In-Person for the first time since the Pandemic.

This course is aimed at those who deliver research in a healthcare setting either in a Sponsor team or as a Host, and that may be subject to regulatory inspection. Preparation for Inspection is critical but compliance driven from preparation rather than from quality systems can lead to poor practice and Inspection findings.

Last minute changes just prior to a visit can be very unhelpful and in some cases misleading and so this course will help delegates understand how to become inspection-ready for any inspection. Delegates will learn strategies that build confidence for an inspection from any of the regulators for example the MHRA, Human Tissue Authority or Human Embryology & Fertilisation Authority.

Book your place

NIHR Updates

Automating Research to Accelerate Research

At AscensionQ, they are dedicated to their mission of enhancing the operational efficiency of clinical research, and they need your invaluable assistance to understand better the current challenges you are facing. Their team has developed a cutting-edge clinical operational research platform that automates manual tasks throughout the entire research cycle. They are eager to gain insight into your key pain points and improve your experience as a researcher.

Read more here

Health Research Authority (HRA) Get involved in developing new guidance for clinical trials

Following the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA’s) response to the consultation on clinical trials regulations, the HRA are committed to developing new guidance to support the change in legislation.

To help, the HRA are looking for researchers, research participants and anyone involved in making research happen to work with them to make sure that the guidance is effective and proportionate.

Read more here

MHRA to streamline clinical trial approvals in biggest overhaul of trial regulation in 20 years

A series of new measures will be introduced by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with support from partners to make it faster and easier to gain approval and to run clinical trials in the UK. These changes represent the biggest overhaul in UK clinical trials regulation in over 20 years and will help to make the UK one of the best countries in the world to conduct clinical research for patients and researchers.

Read more here

Understanding Regulations of AI and Digital Technology in Health and Social Care

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have launched a new AI & Digital Regulations Service in partnership with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Health Research Authority (HRA) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Visit the site for guidance on navigating the regulatory pathway and advice on developing and adopting AI and digital technology.

Read more here

Update on Improvements to UK Research Landscape – National Contract Value Review (NCVR) Update

The National Contract Value Review process went live on 1 October 2022 to help streamline study set-up. All commercial studies completing an interactive Costing Tool (iCT) since 1 October 2022 have been linked with an NHS-based costing expert to undertake a national review.

Share your experiences of using the UK interactive Costing Tool and the National Contract Value Review.

Read more here

Lord O’Shaughnessy to Lead Independent Review into UK Clinical Trials

The government has appointed Lord James O’Shaughnessy to conduct an independent review into the UK commercial clinical trials landscape.

The review will offer recommendations on how commercial clinical trials can help the life sciences sector unlock UK growth and investment opportunities. This will also advise on how to resolve key challenges in conducting commercial clinical trials in the UK.

Read more here

Maximising the Benefits of Research

England has a vibrant research and development ecosystem, with well-developed research infrastructure and research expertise within our health and care workforce. The value of research in transforming health and care is significant; additionally, staff satisfaction, recruitment and retention is higher among staff who are involved in research. The inception of integrated care systems (ICSs) provides the opportunity for systems to embed research within health and care for the benefit of our population.

Read more here

UKTMN Publication Statement

The UKTMN has recently released a statement on recognition of trial management staff in academic publications. Disappointingly, despite their critical role in the delivery of clinical trials, trial management staff are sometimes overlooked when it comes to authorship in the academic publication(s) that arise from the trial.

Read more here

UKCRF Network – Increased Funding for 2023-28

The UK Clinical Research Facility Network, hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), are very pleased to announce that they have been awarded £2.4 million funding by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to support the delivery of early phase research studies.

Read more here

The Research Capability Funding (RCF) Allocations for 2023-24

For more information on the Research Capability Funding (RCF) allocations for 2023-24, visit our website below.

Read more here

Recruitment of Clinical Trial Staff

Many departments are facing challenges in recruiting people to work in academic-led, non-commercial clinical trials, including trial management roles. With input from UKTMN members and the UKCRC-CTU Network, they have developed an e-flyer to highlight the role of Clinical Trials Units and the types of jobs on offer within them.

Read more here

Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit Course –  Fundamentals of Clinical Trials 15th-19th May 2023

The course introduces the key considerations when designing and conducting a randomised clinical trial. The course is intended for anyone seeking an introductory course on randomised controlled trials, and who is likely to be involved in the design, conduct and management, analysis, reporting or review of clinical trials. Throughout the five-day course, delegates will learn why clinical trials are necessary, how different kinds of trials are designed and how bias can be minimised, how trials are managed and then analysed, interpreted and reported.

Read more here

New Resources

Resources from the NHS Research and Development Forum to support health and care research in the UK:

  • Careers in Clinical Trials e-Flyer
  • Publication statement by UKTMN, March 2023

Find out more

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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