Research Passport

  • General Information

    The Research Passport system has been put in place by the NHS for non-clinical researchers. This initiative simplifies administrative procedures when issuing honorary research contracts to researchers with no contractual arrangements with the NHS, and who carry out research in the NHS that affects patient care.

    What is a Research Passport?

    • One set of checks on a researcher conducting research in the NHS.
    • One standard form for each researcher.
    • The form is completed by the researcher and her/his employer, and validated by an NHS organisation.
    • The completed Research Passport is presented to all the relevant NHS organisations.
    • Faster study start-up.

    Who needs a Research Passport?

    If you carry out research, which involves patients or carers, or recruitment of participants through the NHS and if you are not in any of the below categories and have no contractual relationship with the NHS, you may need a Research Passport.

    The NHS organisation hosting the research will confirm:

    • If you require a Research Passport;
    • If you require an honorary research contract;
    • Which checks you require.

    Check the details in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) guide to see which pre-engagement checks you will need and whether you will also need an honorary research contract.

    Who does not need a Research Passport?

    You will not need a Research Passport or an honorary research contract if:

    • You are employed by an NHS organisation; or
    • You are an independent contractor (e.g. GP) or employed by an independent contractor; or
    • You have an honorary clinical contract with the NHS (e.g. clinical academics); or
    • You are a student who will be supervised within clinical settings by an NHS employee or HE staff member with an honorary clinical or research contract; or
    • The research you are doing does not require any checks or honorary research contract.

    Types of Research Passport

    There are two types of Research Passport: the project-specific and the three-year Research Passport.

    The project-specific Research Passport is for researchers who will be involved with only one project over the course of three years.

    The three-year Research Passport is for researchers who will be working on a number of studies over the course of three years and have an ongoing research portfolio.

    Further details about the Research Passport are available on the  NIHR website.

    Research Passport at Brookes

    It is the responsibility of the Researcher to identify that the Research Passport is needed, initiate the process of obtaining the Research Passport and ensure that it is taken through to completion.

    How to get a Research Passport?

    A copy of the Research Passport form can be downloaded from the NIHR website.

    Read the guidance for completing the Research Passport form.

    • Complete sections 1-3 of the Research Passport form. 
    • Ask your line manager (or other authorised person) to complete section 4.
    • Contact Ben Cooper, HR team & Business Partnership Manager to complete section 5. HR may need to come back to you and ask to resend the information that you have provided before: a copy of your ID with a photograph; evidence of the current address (for example latest utility bill); occupational health assessment; criminal record disclosure etc.
    • Take the completed Research Passport form with attachments to the lead NHS organisation.
    • Once the form has been authorised by one NHS organisation it becomes a valid Research Passport that you can provide to other NHS organisations.

    The Principal Investigator must apply for permission to conduct the research in the NHS organisation. The Research Passport does not remove the need to apply to the NHS organisation for permission or to apply for ethical review.