1. What is the NIHR

We are the National Institute for Health Research. We fund health and care research and translate discoveries into practical products, treatments, devices and procedures, involving patients and the public in all our work.

We ensure the NHS is able to support the research of other funders to encourage broader investment in, and economic growth from, health research. We work with charities and the life sciences industry to help patients gain earlier access to breakthrough treatments and we train and develop researchers to keep the nation at the forefront of international research.

Our purpose: The future of health and social care depends on today's research.

As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, we drive research from bench to bedside for the benefit of patients and the economy under a number of themes by:

  • transforming research in the NHS
  • increasing the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public
  • driving faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits 
  • developing and supporting the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research
  • attracting investment by the life sciences industry through our world-class facilities for health research.

Our vision: To improve the health and wealth of the nation through research.

Our mission: To provide a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients and the public.

Our aims: 

  • Establish the NHS as an internationally recognised centre of research excellence
  • Attract, develop and retain the best research professionals to conduct people-based research
  • Commission research focused on improving health and social care
  • Strengthen and streamline systems for research management and governance
  • Increase the opportunities for patients and the public to participate in, and benefit from, research
  • Promote and protect the interests of patients and the public in health research
  • Drive faster translation of scientific discoveries into tangible benefits for patients
  • Maximise the research potential of the NHS to contribute to the economic growth of the country through the life sciences industry
  • Act as sound custodians of public money for the public good.


Who are the NIHR? #WeAreNIHR

A new video has been released to explain who the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is and what it does. The video, which is less than one minute long, describes the NIHR ‘in a nutshell’ and features people from across the NIHR who are working towards improving the health and wealth of the nation through research. 

We would like everyone funded by, supported by, working for and working with the NIHR to watch the video and share it with colleagues, family and friends so that we can raise the profile of the NIHR and the important work it does.

The video has been designed to reflect the NIHR’s recent ‘I Am Research’ campaign. It focuses on seven key areas: We are Research, We are Funding, We are Innovation, We are Training, We are Collaborators, We are Hope and We are the Future.