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We fund dermatology research projects through our funding programmes, and support training and career development for dermatology researchers.

We deliver dermatology research funded by the NIHR, the life sciences industry and non-commercial organisations such as charities. We support the set up and delivery of this research in the NHS and in public health and social care settings. Our research infrastructure also supports research funded by these partners, offering expertise, collaborations and facilities.

We also provide opportunities for people affected by skin conditions and their families and carers to influence and take part in research.


The NIHR supports patients and the public to participate in high quality research taking place in health and care settings across England, advancing knowledge and improving care.

NIHR Clinical Research Network 

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) includes 30 specialty groups, who coordinate and support the delivery of high quality research by therapy area. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by non-commercial organisations, such as charities or universities, and the life sciences industry.

The CRN provides researchers with the practical support they need to make research happen. It supports the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings through our Study Support Service, with tailored offers of support for:

Supporting dermatology research

We support and promote research in the following areas:

  • Common chronic skin diseases such as urticaria, acne, drug reactions, eczema, and psoriasis where genetic research and biological therapies are opening an era of personalised medicine
  • Skin cancers including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma
  • Skin infections such as herpes simplex, fungal infections, impetigo and cellulitis
  • Children’s skin disorders where genetics often plays a major role
  • Rare skin diseases such as hidradenitis and pyoderma gangrenosum

We also support research studies relating to wounds such as venous and pressure ulcers.

Our Dermatology Specialty has a track record in delivering clinical research including real world biologics and stratified medicine studies.

In 2019/20:

  • 71% of studies completed recruitment on time and to target
  • 30 new commercial contact studies and 23 new non-commercial studies were added to the CRN dermatology portfolio

Who we are

As well as providing research delivery staff, we also bring together highly engaged NHS consultants and clinical academics from top UK universities, bringing both clinical and academic expertise to your research. Our experts in the CRN Specialty Group can advise on delivering your critical care study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.  

Professor Nick Levell is the CRN National Specialty Lead for dermatology. Read Professor Levell’s full biography.

Professor Levell is supported by local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.

Our collaborators and stakeholders

The CRN works in partnership with the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), a charity with objectives to improve patient care, education of health professionals dealing with skin disease and research into skin disease. Together CRN and BAD recognise the outstanding contribution of NHS consultants and trainees who are active in research through a yearly award scheme.

UK TREND, a BAD organisation is a translational research network that reports into the CRN Dermatology Specialty Group.

Wound Research Network (WReN)
The aim of the Wounds Research Network (WReN) is to provide a platform for cross-specialty, inter-disciplinary shared learning and support for the design, conduct and delivery of wound prevention and treatment research throughout the UK

The UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UKDCTN), an associated special interest research group of the BAD, has a joint executive and steering group meeting with the CRN Dermatology Specialty Group.

UKDCTN was set up by Professor Hywel Williams and is a charity with over 900 active members. The organisation sets up, obtains funding for, and runs clinical trials in many common skin diseases, often using ordinary low-cost drugs which would not be tested in commercial pharma studies, providing valuable evidence to guide treatment.

Professor Hywel Williams describes the impact of the research delivery support we provide:

“It has been such a joy for me to witness the continued progress of the dermatology CRN speciality group in providing first class support in delivering portfolio studies that will result in patient benefit. Being able to come to the specialty meetings to discuss our study pipeline and to then follow-on with our own UKDCTN meetings on the same day is a clever formula that strengthens the bond and dependencies between study development and delivery. And long may it continue.”

NIHR Clinical Research Facilities 

NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) are purpose built facilities in NHS hospitals where researchers can deliver early-phase and complex studies.


Our funding programmes fund high quality research in dermatology that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for critical care researchers - see the careers tab for more information.

Our funding programmes

Our commissioned research programmes often seek research proposals on dermatology. Most of our funding programmes also run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in dermatology. 

Got an idea for research in dermatology? The NIHR Research Design Service can help you turn it into a funding application, offering advice on research design, research methods, identifying funding sources, and involving patients and the public.

Our portfolio of dermatology research

You can search and view all the dermatology research we’ve funded on dermatology research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.

In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our dermatology research in the dermatology research in the NIHR Journals Library.


The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in dermatology to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future.

Our investment in people sustains excellent research capacity and expertise throughout clinical and non-clinical academic career pathways and provides high quality learning and development opportunities for the delivery workforce in our infrastructure.

Funding dermatology research careers

The NIHR Academy is responsible for the development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.

There is a wide range of NIHR training and career development awards available at different career stages, from pre-doctoral through to Research Professorships. These awards comprise both personal awards, which can be applied for directly with the NIHR, and institutional awards which should be applied for through the host institution.


The NIHR invests significantly in people, centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support health and care research in England. Collectively these form the world-class NIHR infrastructure.

This national research infrastructure is available to use by UKRI, research charities and the life sciences industry as well as NIHR researchers.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are collaborations between world-leading universities and NHS organisations that bring together academics and clinicians to translate lab-based scientific breakthroughs into potential new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies.

The following BRCs undertake research in dermatology:

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings. Find out more on the delivery tab.


The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in dermatology. 

In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your dermatology study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.

National Speciality Lead

Professor Nick Levell is the National Specialty Lead for dermatology. He is a Consultant Dermatologist for Dermatology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, is Dermatology National Clinical Lead for the NHS Improvement GIRFT programme, and was President of the British Association of Dermatologists from 2016-18.

National Wound Lead

Professor Jane Nixon is Professor of Clinical Trials Research, Deputy Director of the Leeds Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU) and a NIHR Senior Investigator.  She is Yorkshire and Humber Clinical Specialty Lead for Wounds and a Dermatology Specialty Group co-opted member.

Public involvement

We engage with and involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research in dermatology.

Have your say in research

We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in dermatology research.

The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their dermatology research.

Involvement opportunities across the NIHR

Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in dermatology research taking place in your local area.

The St John's Institute of Dermatology Psoriasis and Eczema PPI group at the NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas Biomedical Research Centre provides feedback on all aspects of psoriasis and eczema care and research at Guy’s and discusses new developments and ideas.

Take part in research

Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in dermatology research across the UK.

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