Register your study for the Associate PI Scheme

The NIHR Associate PI Scheme allows doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to engage in NIHR Portfolio research studies.

Studies that register for the scheme receive increased support at a site level, with Associate PIs helping to deliver trials under the mentorship of an enthusiastic local Principal Investigator (PI).

Is the Associate PI Scheme suitable for my study?

If the statements below apply to your study then the Associate PI Scheme could be the ideal opportunity for your research:

  • My study is non-commercial and on the NIHR portfolio.
  • My study has multiple UK sites.
  • My study has at least six months of recruitment activity left.
  • My study has Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) or equivalent involvement.
  • The managing specialty that my study falls under is supported by the scheme (please refer to our Supported Specialities and Royal College Endorsements for an up to date list).
  • My study would provide an Associate PI the opportunity to:
    • Facilitate patient level consent.
    • Get involved with a local research team, interacting with multiple members to deliver the study.
    • Learn more about a patient pathway that will require coordination/have multiple interactions/FU time points/liaison between different departments to deliver.

Please see our FAQs for more detailed guidance on eligibility criteria.

How to register a study for the Associate PI Scheme

Step 1: Check your study meets the Study Eligibility Criteria

For a study to be eligible for the Associate PI Scheme, it must meet the study eligibility criteria. If you have further questions about the eligibility of your study, please contact the Associate PI Scheme central team at

Step 2: Register your study

It is the responsibility of the study team to register the study for the Associate PI Scheme. Studies can be registered by a member of the study team, Chief Investigator (CI), or the Director/Deputy Director of the Clinical Trials Unit using the Associate PI Scheme Study Registration Form.

Please check this list of registered studies (spreadsheet) before registering your study in order to check it has not already been registered.

Once we receive your application, it will be assessed by the Associate PI Scheme Team against the eligibility criteria. Confirmation will also be sought from the CI of the study and the CTU signatory.

Step 3: Promoting the scheme to your study sites

Once we have deemed your study eligible and have confirmation from the study CI and the CTU signatory, you will receive an email confirming that your study has joined the Associate PI Scheme, and that applicants are now able to apply to be Associate PIs for your study

We ask that you make all of your sites aware that the study is on the Associate PI Scheme, so that your sites and local PIs can encourage individuals to join the scheme.

Step 4: Keeping track of your Associate PIs

The study coordinator for your study will be given access to an ODP Dashboard, allowing them to view all of the confirmed Associate PIs for your study so they can make contact and encourage them to interact with the CTU. Full details of how to access the ODP Dashboard will be sent to the study coordinator.

Step 5: Acknowledging Associate PIs in publications

We encourage that Associate PIs are acknowledged in any publications from the study in a PubMed searchable way, such as in the appendix, as a collaborator.

The Sunflower Study has benefitted hugely from being an early adopter of the NIHR Associate PI scheme. The contributions of trainees have been invaluable, particularly in the recruitment of study participants at evenings and weekends.
CTU, Sunflower Study

Further information

If you have any questions, including about the eligibility of a study to join the scheme, please contact the Associate PI Scheme central team at

You may find the answers to some of your questions in our Associate PI Scheme FAQs.


Based on feedback from CIs, CTUs and PIs we have created useful resources that provide guidance, suggested prompts, and promotional materials that will hopefully ensure your study and Associate PI trainees gain the most out of involvement in the scheme.

Visit the Associate PI Scheme resources website

Related pages


External links