Man doing research

Fast track research

During a public health emergency, such as coronavirus, getting research initiated, set-up and open as quickly as possible is even more important. Research at this time can support improved understanding of the condition, help to generate better diagnoses, test new treatments and help to prevent and manage the spread of disease.

All-Wales COVID-19 Study Set Up Service

If you are a researcher looking to identify potential participating sites in Wales, please contact the team.

We can set up studies rapidly across Wales – in most cases we are able to open COVID-19 studies within days of sites being selected. A networked support and delivery service, including clinical specialty leads, enables NHS support and resources to be put in place quickly so that recruitment can begin without delay.

This supports coordination with colleagues across Wales and the UK. Additional information can also be sought from Health Board R&D Departments.

Regulatory Approvals

The Health Research Authority (HRA), working with partners in the devolved administrations, is able to facilitate high-quality research quickly if needed. This means that researchers receive approval to begin much more quickly than the usual timelines, sometimes in a matter of hours.

Applications should continue to be submitted via the IRAS system in the normal way, identifying participating sites.

Information published by HRA can be found on their website.

Information published by the MHRA can be found on their website.

Applications for Urgent Public Health study support

A single, UK process is in place to identify the COVID-19 studies which hold the most potential for tackling the challenges we face – Urgent Public Health studies.

This process covers funded studies, irrespective of whether they are funded by the public sector, industry or charities and also, in partnership with UKRI, studies that require funding. It aims to prevent duplication of effort and to ensure that the capacity of the health and care system to support research is not exceeded. Urgent Public Health studies will be prioritised for delivery within the NHS in Wales – see further guidance.

Those with research ideas seeking project funding should also initially go through the portal. Projects assessed as offering work of real value will be triaged to the NIHR/MRC administered COVID-19 UK-wide research funding stream and asked to complete an appropriate application form

Applications for Urgent Public Health study support is made via a UK portal