Study Support Service

The CRN West Midlands Study Support Service team helps researchers and the life sciences industry plan, place and perform high quality research in both the NHS and the wider health and social care environment, across England. For any study that is eligible or applying for CRN support, whether commercially or non-commercially sponsored, we offer a range of services across the research delivery pathway that will help study set up and delivery to time and target.

The Network's Study Support Service Team provides support to all local Partner Organisations. So if you have a study at the research idea stage, grant application stage or beyond, please get in touch to discuss how we can support your study. 

Each of these specialties has a dedicated Study Support Lead to support your study.

Please contact the teams as follows to be put in touch with your Study Support Lead: 

or for Primary Care queries: 

Follow the team on Twitter @CRNWMSSS.

Our Study Support Service can impact the success of your study in three key areas:

Plan your study

Expert advice and guidance to help you plan your research

Get personalised advice and guidance about what support is available, tailored to your specific study needs. You can access this support even before you have secured funding. Engaging early will increase your support options.

Accurately identify relevant funders for all resources related to your study activities

Department of Health and Social Care guidance outlines responsibilities for funding the range of research activities. We have specialists and a UK-wide tool to help apply this to your study activities.

Ensure your research is inclusive

Read our INCLUDE guidance on improving inclusion of under-served groups in clinical research.

Find out more about how we can help you plan your study or trial in health or care settings.

Place your study

Identify sites for your study

We can gather expressions of interest to take part in your study from sites across England. You can discuss this with us anytime throughout the life cycle of your study.

Study delivery review

We undertake a study wide assessment to identify and highlight any challenges to study delivery. enabling a proactive approach to study set-up.

Find out more about how we can help you place your study to optimise performance.

Perform your study

Streamline your study set-up

We will use our national network to share a study-wide action plan to ensure multiple sites open as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Keep your research on track

Your allocated performance review lead will work with you to proactively monitor the progress of your study.

Find out more about how we work with you to keep your study on track.

Portfolio Maps

Our Digital Portfolio Maps have been developed to inform researchers and healthcare professionals of the research studies available locally and nationally. 

Excess Treatment Costs

The costs of non commercial research are met by different funders depending on the type of cost. Guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care for the Attribution of Costs for Research and Development (AcoRD) sets out the principles for determining who pays for the different costs.

Treatment Costs are the care costs that would continue to be incurred if the patient care service in question continued to be provided following the end of the research study. The difference between the Treatment Costs and the costs of the existing standard treatment is referred to as the Excess Treatment Cost (ETC).

ETCs are paid for by service commissioners.

For more information please visit the main NIHR website or

**Please note we must have a minimum of 10 working days to complete a thorough review of any SoECAT**

Research Activity Process

We've created a video on our research activity process to explain how the process works now that we receive research activity data into the Central Portfolio Management System (CPMS) from our Local Portfolio Management Systems (LPMS). This video also explains how this will affect researchers and support staff across the country.


Application to Request Network Service Support (ACROSS) is a portal to request and manage nursing requests across the Network. It aims to streamline the application process and provide a simpler request mechanism for Partner Organisations who need research nurse support. For any questions on the system, please email

ENRICH (Enabling Research in Care Homes)

Our 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. Local Contact Details.

EDGE Research Management Tool

You can read University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust’s  (UHB) clinical trials pharmacy team's case study on how they are using EDGE research management tool.