The Research Passport

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The Research Passport is a streamlined system for issuing honorary research contracts to researchers who do not have a contractual relationship with the NHS. Before the Research Passport was introduced, researchers working across multiple NHS sites often needed to get a new contract from each host organisation. Each contract required several pre-engagement checks, for example occupational health checks. The Research Passport saves valuable time and resources and speeds study start-up times by relying on existing pre-engagement checks and assurances from substantial employers.

The Passport benefits researchers, NHS organisations and universities because it:

  • Promotes the consistent use of honorary research contracts by the NHS
  • Provides clear guidance on their use
  • Provides a streamlined standard system to apply for the contracts
  • Avoids repeat checks for each contract
  • Clarifies responsibilities of NHS hosts and Higher Education Institution employers.

The Research Passport can be accessed online, and forms part of the Research in the NHS – Human Resource (HR) Good Practice Resource Pack. This pack was developed under the umbrella of the UKCRC by the NHS R&D Forum and the four UK Health Departments and describes the Research Passport and other standardised procedures for handling the HR arrangements for researchers. In March 2010 following a systematic roll-out of its implementation in England, supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Networks, the HR resource pack has been refined to reflect feedback from users of the scheme, including researchers, HR in the NHS and University sectors.  The pack has also been amended to take account changes in disclosure and barring arrangements.

UKCRC Board members have agreed a statement of endorsement recommending routine use of the Research Passport system.

For advice on use of the Research Passport, please see the relevant lead organisation and contact for each UK nation:

Further information is also available on the information and resources page.

Information and Resources on Research Passport

The Research Passport is a streamlined system for issuing honorary research contracts to researchers who do not have a contractual