NIHR welcomes new vision for the Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery

NIHR and partner organisations across the health research ecosystem have this week welcomed the publication of a bold and ambitious vision for the future of clinical research delivery in the UK.

This UK-wide vision sets out the ambition to create a patient-centred, pro-innovation and data-enabled clinical research environment, which empowers everyone across the health service to participate in delivering research and enables people across the country to take part in research that is of relevance to them.

The vision has been developed through the cross-sector Recovery, Resilience and Growth programme, with NIHR working alongside the NHS, regulators, medical research charities, life sciences industry, the UK government and devolved administrations.

Saving and improving lives

There are important lessons from the pandemic about where the UK can improve for all clinical research.

The vision has five key themes which underpin the improvements that will be taken forward in the coming months and years.

  • Clinical research embedded in the NHS
  • Patient-centred research
  • Streamlined, efficient and innovative research
  • Research enabled by data and digital tools
  • A sustainable and supported research workforce

To make the vision a reality, several key areas for action have been identified that will unleash the true potential of the UK’s clinical research environment. More information about the themes and areas for action are detailed in the vision document Saving and Improving Lives: The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery.


The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD), a study set up in 2018 has been featured as a case study in the guidance.

Professor Gerome Breen, who leads the NIHR Mental Health BioResource, said:

“I am delighted to see that the GLAD study is being featured as a case study in the future of UK clinical research delivery guidance. We have over 44,000 questionnaires completed and 26,000 saliva DNA kits returned. None of this would be possible without the support of our participants and partners, so thank you to all of those involved in our project.”

Thalia Eley, Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, said:

“We established GLAD to improve research and outcomes in the field of anxiety and depression. Over 35,000 of our participants have told us how they have responded to either psychological therapies or medication. This year we are conducting our first large-scale analyses of these data, which we hope will inform better targeting of existing therapies as well as the development of new therapies or interventions.”

Tackling global healthcare challenges: the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression study

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders worldwide and 1 in 3 people in the UK will experience symptoms during their lifetime.

The Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study aims to find out how genes and our environment act together to bring about anxiety and depression, to identify effective treatments and improve the lives of people experiencing these conditions.

GLAD is led by the NIHR Mental Health BioResource and researchers at King’s College London, in collaboration with researchers at Ulster University, University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University. Using novel digital recruitment methods, including social media, the study is already halfway to recruiting its overall target of 40,000 participants.

Read more NIHR case studies online.  

To join GLAD visit: Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression Study – GLAD Study

Tags: Affective Disorders and Interface with Medicine -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 25 Mar 2021, 09:00 AM

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