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Reproductive Health

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Funding opportunities

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

We deliver reproductive health 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 reproductive health research funded by these partners, offering expertise, collaborations and facilities.

We also provide opportunities for people affected by reproductive health 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 reproductive health research

Reproductive Health is one of the largest recruiting specialties on the NIHR CRN Portfolio. We cover the full range of clinical subspecialties in women’s healthcare, including:

  • maternal-fetal medicine
  • benign gynaecology (including fibroids, menstrual disorders, and endometriosis)
  • urogynaecology
  • reproductive medicine
  • gynaeoncology
  • family planning
  • post-reproductive medicine

We are able to engage with approximately 700,000 women giving birth each year in the UK, as well as the many others attending gynaecology clinics and women’s health care services throughout the NHS. Our portfolio covers research council, government, charity and industry-sponsored studies.

Our research areas of focus include:

  • birth defects
  • developmental disorders
  • low birth weight
  • preterm birth
  • reduced fertility
  • impotence

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 reproductive health study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.

Mr Nigel Simpson is the CRN National Specialty Lead for Reproductive Health. Read Mr Simpson’s full biography.

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


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

Our funding programmes

Most of our funding programmes run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including research proposals in reproductive health.

Got an idea for research in reproductive health? 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 reproductive health research

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

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

Our research units

NIHR Policy Research Units (PRUs) undertake research to inform government and arms-length bodies making policy decisions about health and social care. The units create a critical mass of experts for research in priority areas for health and social care policy.

The following PRU undertakes reproductive health research:


The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in reproductive health 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 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.

Supporting the delivery workforce

Reproductive Health and Childbirth Research Champions Group

This is a dedicated team of research midwives and nurses, one or more in each Local Clinical Research Network, who use their experience to deliver research that benefits patients, fosters collaborative learning and provides learning and professional development opportunities. They are an integral part of the NIHR Reproductive Health and Childbirth Specialty Group.


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 reproductive health:

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.

The following ARCs undertake research in reproductive health:

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 reproductive health.

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

National Specialty Lead 

Mr Nigel Simpson is the CRN National Specialty Lead for Reproductive Health. He is a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds.

Research Professor

The NIHR Research Professorship is the flagship personal funding award for the NIHR. The scheme funds research leaders of the future to promote effective translation of research.

Dr Lucy Chappell

Dr Chappell’s research focuses on women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy and intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, and aims to reduce adverse outcomes for the mother and baby through providing the evidence base for appropriate interventions.

Prof Waljit Dhillo

Prof Dhillo’s research aims to develop novel treatment protocols based on kisspeptin and neurokinin B to treat patients with disorders of reproductive health.

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 reproductive health.

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 reproductive health research.

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

Involvement opportunities across the NIHR

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

At NIHR Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre, several patient and public involvement groups meet with researchers to provide a lay person’s point of view on their work and help them to decide where to focus their efforts. This includes a group on women’s health.

The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London carries out research into maternal and perinatal mental health and involves patients, service users and the public in all our research so that it is designed around people's experiences and needs.

Take part research

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

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