Clinical Research Network performance

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) measures its effectiveness against High Level Objectives (HLOs), agreed with the Department of Health and Social Care. The HLOs are the CRN’s national, overarching annual objectives for research delivery in the NHS and other health and social care settings.

Each year the HLOs are reviewed to ensure they reflect the national priorities at the time. For example, in 2020/21 an Urgent Public Health and a Restart objective was introduced in response to COVID-19 and served as an indicator of wider NIHR policy. In 2021/22 the focus became managing research recovery. Alongside these topical objectives, a number of other objectives are constant across recent years. For example, ‘demonstrating to people taking part in health and social care research studies that their contribution is valued’; ‘widening participation in research by enabling the involvement of a range of health and social care providers’; and ‘delivering NIHR CRN Portfolio studies to recruitment target within the planned recruitment period.'

The HLOs for the most recent three years can be found in the reports linked below, alongside the CRN’s performance against each objective.

Performance Reports

The CRN reports on its performance on a quarterly and annual basis to the DHSC.  Annual performance reports can be found below.

Latest Report

NIHR CRN High Level Objectives Outturn Report 2020/21

Previous Reports

NIHR CRN - High Level Objectives: Year end research performance report 2019/20

NIHR CRN - High Level Objectives: Year end Research Performance report 2018/19

Each year the CRN also publishes its annual statistics.

Related pages