How CRN KSS can help you make your study a success

CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex’s (CRN KSS) Study Support Service’s team of research delivery experts will support you to ‘plan’, ‘place’ and ‘perform’ high-quality health and care research within a NHS, public health, or social care setting across the region.

To be put in touch with a member of the Study Support Service team, please email

The Study Support Service is available for all studies eligible for support on the CRN Portfolio, regardless of location, study type, study size, therapy, or research area. Whether your study is qualitative or quantitative, medical, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, or bio-tech, or is looking at healthy populations, or working with people with social care needs, the Study Support Service team will help you from the planning stage through to the successful delivery of your study, recruiting to time and target.

The team consists of Research Delivery Managers and Project Coordinators who have a wealth of experience supporting successful research projects across the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region. A Project Coordinator will be allocated to work with you throughout the life cycle of the study and will work closely with you, research teams, research and development offices, funders, and everybody involved in the delivery of your study to ensure it is delivered to time and target and the study results are meaningful. If your named Project Coordinator is unavailable (for example due to annual leave), there will be another member of the team who will work with you.

For non-commercial studies, this can include support in the following areas:

‘Plan’ your study

Expert advice and guidance to help you plan your research

You can achieve the greatest impact for your study if you engage with the team as early as possible. As soon as you have an idea for a study contact the CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex Study Support Service via email. You can access the service even before you have secured funding. The sooner you get in touch, the more you will benefit from our expertise and resources.

Accurately identify all resources related to your study activities

The expert Project Coordinator allocated to your study can help you work out what your study activities will be and how much they may cost. This will help you to complete the online SoECAT and in turn, make the validation process run smoothly. The team will advise you on additional avenues of funding that are available, some of which you can access outside of your main research grant.

Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT) process

For a Schedule of Events Cost Attribution Template (SoECAT) validation to be approved, CRN KSS requires a minimum of 20 working days before any internal deadline, or the funding submission deadline. The 20 days will be for the team  to provide a comprehensive  review of the study activities and cost attributions before forwarding the reviewed forms for validation. The ‘20-day clock’ starts when the final SoECAT and relevant documents are received.

Due to capacity issues, CRN KSS maintains the right to refuse to meet application deadlines, if given less than 20 working days to complete the process. To prevent this situation, please come to CRN KSS at the early planning stage where the Study Support Service team will discuss the SoECAT requirements.

As of April 2023, the SoECAT process is now entirely online. If you are completing a SoECAT retrospectively for NIHR Portfolio adoption where funding has already been secured without one, you must complete an online SoECAT.

To create a SoECAT, you will need to create and activate an account in CPMS. Please refer to the NIHR’s user guide for help. There is an Online SoECAT Guidance Module on NIHR Learn which includes video tutorials and linked resources (an NIHR Learn account is required to access and enrol onto the module) and a helpful Study Representative - Online SoECAT Top Tips infographic.

If you prefer, you can contact the Study Support Service via email and someone from the team will be in touch to arrange a meeting where we can take you through the process.

Once you have completed the online SoECAT, send the CPMS link to the Study Support Service, no less than 20 working days before the funding application deadline for review and validation.

Ensure your research is inclusive

CRN KSS’ vast experience in patient and public involvement and engagement means the team can advise you on how to make your research inclusive. Read the NIHR’s INCLUDE guidance on improving the inclusion of under-served groups in research.

‘Place’ your study

Identify sites for your study

The Study Support Service team has specialist knowledge about the region, sites, partners, and networks. Their knowledge is especially useful if you are based outside the region but your lead site is in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex region .

CRN KSS’ close working relationships with partner organisations and stakeholders means the Study Support Service team will advise you on operational structures within NHS organisations, and the wider health and care sectors across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. CRN KSS has local research delivery connections that you may not have, which can help you broaden access to new sites, settings and populations which you may not have considered working with.

The team can introduce you and your study to other local Clinical Research Networks and their partner organisations nationally. This will give you access to a large number of potential sites and participants and you will also benefit from country-wide expertise and experience.

Commercial research

If you are a Chief Investigator (CI) on a commercial study in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, CRN KSS can facilitate the National Costing Value Review Process and will act as the national performance lead. The Study Support Service can organise nationwide study calls to inform potential sites about the study and assist the sponsor.

‘Perform’ your study

Keep your research on track

A LCRN performance review lead will be allocated to you to maintain oversight of study recruitment and work with your study team to enable the study to recruit to time and target to achieve the goals and outcomes of the research question. The Study Support Service team will work in collaboration with sites to resolve any blockages in the delivery of your study.

The national network will be utilised to share a study-wide action plan to ensure multiple sites open as quickly and efficiently as possible, streamlining your study set-up. The team will help you ensure the recruitment data entered into CPMS is correct and complete. Some study support costs are paid based on the correct recruitment data entered on CPMS.

Study closure

Once your study has achieved its end date and recruitment target, the team will update the CPMS system to reflect the study’s status. Once a study is ready to close, the Project Coordinator will work with the study team to ensure that all recruitment has been correctly uploaded and approved in CPMS ahead of closing the study to recruitment. All of this will be based on the approved documents provided by the study team.

CRN KSS Research Delivery Team

The CRN KSS Research Delivery Team of experienced nurses, allied health professionals and clinical research practitioners can help you to deliver research in out-of-hospital settings. They have successfully supported research taking place in care homes, hospices, primary care and hospitals across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. To find out how the team can support you, please email

ENRICH (Enabling Research in Care Homes)

The ENRICH network brings together care home staff, residents and their families with researchers. It provides a toolkit of resources to help care homes make the most of research and researchers to set up and run studies effectively and collaboratively in care homes.  

Contact us 

Email CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex Study Support Service on

Information on this page was updated on 1 June 2023.

External links

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