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Resources for Researchers

The Research Pathway

The research pathway usually begins with identification of the research question (or hypothesis) to be addressed, accompanied by a detailed review of the relevant background literature. Work then begins on building the team containing the necessary expertise to successfully deliver the trial, study or project; designing the trial, study or project; and securing necessary funding. Following this the necessary approvals are obtained, after which the trial, study or project can commence, including participant recruitment (where relevant). Once collection and analysis of data is complete, it is expected that findings will be disseminated – including to those that participated in the research – and incorporated into changes in practice.

Details of the steps you will need to consider developing a project can be found here.

The Clinical Trials Toolkit provides a very detailed ‘routemap’ from inception to completion of a Clinical Trial of Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMP). Not all of the elements of a CTIMP apply to all types of research, but the general principles underpinning the ‘routemap’ are likely to be of relevance to most researchers.


East Kent Hospitals provides a range of internal funding schemes. For more information, please click here to visit our Funding page.

Letters of Access / Honorary Contracts

The research passport (RP) system allows processing and issuing Letters of Access (LoA) or Honorary Research Contracts (HRC) to researchers who are either employed by or are students of a Higher Education Institution (HEI) or employees of other non-NHS organisations (e.g. charities, 3rd party organisations, commercial organisations) and wish to carry out research within East Kent Hospitals.

The RP system provides a mechanism for NHS organisations to be assured that the appropriate pre-engagement checks have been carried out on persons wanting access to conduct research. RPs can be study specific, or can be set up for three years to cover a number of studies. They can be extended for a further time period or to include more studies.

Per HRA guidelines, you do not need to use an RP if you already have a substantive or honorary clinical contract with another NHS organisation. Instead, your employing Trust will need to complete an NHS to NHS confirmation of pre-engagement checks form and send it back to us with a signed and dated copy of your CV. Once we are satisfied that appropriate pre-engagement checks have been carried out the R&I office will issue an appropriate LoA. These letters of access are study specific.

For full  explanation of the RPs process including LoA, please see the HRA and IRAS websites or contact the Trust R&I office via email on: ekhuft.researchandinnovation@nhs.net

EKHUFT Library Services

The Trust’s Libraries can help with research proposals and projects in several ways – an initial literature search to identify knowledge gaps or state of the evidence, as well as training on database searching; current awareness and alerting tools and services to monitor new publications in your area of research; accessing full text journals and document discovery; advice and training, individual or group, on critical appraisal and reviewing, as well as advice on data extraction for systematic reviews. We can also discuss editorial support such as proofreading, indexing and referencing, as well as offering an independent ‘read-through’ prior to submission. At a more general level, we provide access to books, journals and research databases and administer the Trust’s Athens service for access to electronic resources. See www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/libraries for further details on our services and how to contact us for help and support.