National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) -  Research passport scheme

Research passport and honorary contract

Under research governance arrangements all researchers who are not employed by the NHS must hold the appropriate contractual relationship with the NHS organisation in which they wish to undertake research.

This means that an honorary research contract or a letter of access will be required when:

  • Researchers are not contracted to work for the Trust which is hosting the research
  • The research is undertaken on the NHS premises or facilities
  • The research involves NHS staff, or patients 
  • Researchers need to interact with patients in a way which has a direct bearing on the quality of care
  • The research is undertaken on the identifiable NHS data, tissue or samples.

NIHR research passport scheme

London North West Healthcare NHS Trust operates the NIHR research passport scheme in accordance with the Research in the NHS-HR Good Practice Resource Pack which is available from the 'Research Passports' page of their website. 

If you do not have any contractual relationship with the NHS or do not fit into any of the categories mentioned above then a research passport may be required.

To obtain a research passport please visit the NIHR website. You can also find contact details for the R&D department here.