Guidance for Researchers

All research studies conducted with NHS staff and/or patients as participants require NHS permission from the Research and Development Department.  Research studies involving patients also require ethical approval from the National Research Ethics Service (NRES). 

If you would like to apply for NHS Permission to conduct research in Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (including community health services) or with Rotherham GP Practices, please contact the R&D department on Tel: 01709 304177 or via email:  

We pride ourselves on providing high quality efficient services to researchers. The median number of days for issuing NHS permission to conduct research in Rotherham is 8 days from receipt of a valid application.  91% of valid research applications are issued with NHS permission within the national 30 day target. 


 What is a Valid Research Application?

A valid research application contains electronic copies all of the documentation pertinent to your research project.  Although each study is slightly different, there are a number of core documents that are required for all studies in order for us to issue NHS permission: 

  • Study Protocol 
  • Participant Information Sheet(s) 
  • Consent Form(s) 
  • Confirmation of Sponsorship 
  • Certificate of Indemnity from the Sponsor 
  • Chief investigator and Principal Investigator CV (scanned signed copies) 
  • GCP Certificate(s)  

In studies where NHS Patients will participate, we will also expect to see: 

In some research studies, particularly those where the Trust is to be reimbursed for research activity, we will also require a Clinical trial Agreement (CTA). 

In the interest of efficiency, in cases where NRES ethical approval for research is still in progress, researchers may submit their application to us without ‘NRES Confirmation of Ethical Approval for Research’ and we will process your application in parallel to the NRES review procedure. 


Obtaining National Research Ethics Service (NRES) Approval for Research Involving Patients

 Ethical approval for research involving NHS patients must be sought from NRES prior to commencing recruitment.  In order to gain NRES ethical approval, researchers will need to create an ‘Integrated research Application System’ (IRAS) account and complete the online IRAS form. 

The IRAS websites provides researchers with help and guidance on completing an application, however we are also available to advise researchers if required. Please contact us on Tel: 01709 304177 or via email: 

To set up an IRAS account and/or start a new IRAS form, CLICK HERE. 

Once an IRAS form has been submitted, researchers are expected to book their project for review by a Research Ethics Committee (REC) via the Local Allocation System.  To access a list of regional REC Centres operating in the UK and their contact details CLICK HERE. 

In order to book a review slot on a Yorkshire & the Humber REC Centre meeting, contact the REC Centre on Tel: 0191 4283305 or via email:  To access the upcoming dates for Yorkshire & the Humber REC Centre meetings CLICK HERE. 


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