How to get started

Your quick guide to the research process


What is involved in setting up a research trial?

Our Research and Innovation Team will help you every step of the way, so don't worry if you are new to research or need help, advice and support to get your trial started.

As a guide, these are the main stages in setting up a research trial:


Integrated Research Application System (IRAS)

Most applications to regulatory review bodies can be made via IRAS. IRAS was developed to bring all the research regulatory application forms together in one place.

By completing a checklist of questions, the system will generate the forms you need to complete based upon your responses.

These include:

  • Portfolio Adoption Form
  • Research Ethics Committee Form
  • Research & Innovation Form
  • Site Specific Information Form
  • MHRA Form

You can find more information on how to use IRAS and set up an account on the IRAS website.

Useful links

National Institure for Health Research

The National Institute for Health Research gives advice, support and useful links designed to help you understand what is needed to set up a clinical trial. You can find this information on the NIHR website.

Health Research Authority

For a comprehensive guide to planning, developing and delivering a research project the Health Research Authority online toolkits give a good overview of every step.

Research Support Service

The Research Support Service (RSS) provides support to health and social care researchers across England on all aspects of developing and writing a grant application including research design, research methods, identifying funding sources and involving patients and the public. Advice is confidential and free of charge. You can find all of the information online.