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New East of England CRP Engagement Leads urge others to develop their paths in research

CRN East of England CRP Engagement Lead, Lindsay Piper

CRN East of England has recruited two new Clinical Research Practitioner (CRP) Engagement Leads, as part of a wider drive by the NIHR to encourage CRPs to take up professional accreditation.

CRPs are a vital part of the research delivery workforce across the NIHR. They bring a wealth of research knowledge and expertise to their roles, working across both clinical and other health and social care environments.

In recognising the important part that CRPs play in research delivery, their role has now been identified as a skilled profession, complete with professional accreditation. CRP Engagement Leads will also support fellow CRPs in their professional development, including helping them join the accredited community, registration for which has now been widened to include those without a degree or equivalent.

Emily Knightbridge, a Team Leader and Senior Clinical Trial Coordinator at Royal Papworth Hospital, who has taken up one of the new CRP Engagement Lead positions, said:

“My hope is to get to know all the lovely CRPs across our region, provide support with the registration process and help to develop other CRP career opportunities and development.”

“My ultimate aim is to support more CRPs to become registered and use this registration and strength in numbers to advocate for change for the CRP community whether that be for competencies, job titles or something as simple as uniform.”

Lindsay Piper (pictured above), a CRP at the Cambridge Cancer Trials Centre, who has also been appointed CRP Engagement Lead by CRN East of England, echoed these thoughts, adding that she hopes to “promote the role of the CRP across the region, and to make CRPs more visible within the research workforce.”

CRN East of England is now also seeking CRP Advocates to champion this path into research and to promote the benefits of accreditation to CRPs. CRP Advocates will liaise with their colleagues, their teams, managers and trusts, and work to build an environment where CRPs’ skills are valued, recognised and rewarded.

The NIHR is committed to encouraging all practitioners, professionals and workers within the NHS to take an active role in research wherever possible. To aid this cause the NIHR has just launched its annual Your Path in Research campaign. The campaign aims to help anyone working in health and social care to pursue a career in research, not just those working in a traditional healthcare setting.

Find out more about CRP roles and how to apply for professional accreditation.

For more information on the CRP Advocate role, please contact Emily and Lindsay via their emails below:

Emily Knightbridge email:

Lindsay Piper email: