NHS Research Scotland (NRS)

The NHS Research Scotland (NRS) initiative involves Health Boards in Scotland and the Chief Scientist Office. One of its strategic aims is to ensure that the NHS provides the best environment to support clinical research in Scotland through the application of best practice and harmonised processes that are supportive of efficient working. A dedicated NRS website went live on 1 October 2012.

The Health Boards within NRS are organised into four nodes based upon their geographical locations:

CSO and the Health Boards in each NRS Node are working together to develop common, simplified systems and mechanisms to support both non-commercial and commercial patient-oriented research. Oversight and strategic direction of NRS is achieved through the NRS Strategy Group involving CSO and R&D Directors from the 4 lead Health Boards in Scotland (NHS Grampian, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside). The efficiencies being delivered through NRS, which is a key priority of CSO's Research Strategy, will continue to be enhanced to improve NHS Scotland's attractiveness as a place to conduct clinical trials.


One of the early areas of focus of NRS has been the development of an efficient system for approval of multicentre clinical studies involving Scottish Health Boards. This has been facilitated through the creation of the NRS Permissions Coordinating Centre in Aberdeen that works closely with researchers, companies and individual Health Boards where a study is intended to take place, to ensure that it is reviewed as promptly as possible.