Over 1,000 health professionals join NIHR Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme

on 03 May 2022

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has seen over 1,000 health professionals taking their first steps into research by signing up to the Associate Principal Investigator (PI) Scheme.

The Associate PI Scheme was first developed to surgical trainees in the West Midlands in 2018. Since then, the scheme is now available as a nationwide flagship for health professionals, including midwives, to take their journey into research.

Following the initial pilot, the scheme was expanded to make vital Urgent Public Health COVID-19 studies to be made available across the country. The scheme now covers a wide range of specialist areas which has seen endorsements from Royal Colleges, including the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

Any healthcare professional not already working in research are welcome to join the scheme as part of their day-to-day role, gaining practical experience while contributing to supporting studies.

CEO of the NIHR Clinical Research Network, Dr William Van’t Hoff, said: “It’s vital that we do everything we can to normalise research as part of routine health and care, so it’s fantastic to see the Associate PI Scheme go from strength to strength.

“From an inspired idea in the surgery speciality, the scheme has now expanded to build capacity for research across many specialities, bringing over a thousand health and care professionals across the UK into research for the first time.

“The success of the scheme in helping to deliver lifesaving COVID-19 studies during the pandemic really shows the value for health workers and patients alike, and with every professional who continues to register for the scheme we build a stronger base for the future of research.”

Since completing the scheme, 98% of the Associate PI Scheme have said that they will continue or plan to continue to remain engaged with delivering research.

More information about the NIHR Associate PI Scheme can be found here.