The Research Systems programme

Last updated on 19 Jan 2022

Our Research Systems programme will make it easy for researchers to carry out responsible research that complies with legal and ethical expectations, and will provide lay-friendly information about the results of research.

Online submission of amendments

This major improvement programme will create intuitive research systems that interact with other systems in the research sector - creating one seamless online resource for users. This will build on and enhance our existing work with partners to further improve our services. The new systems will support researchers throughout the lifecycle of their projects.

As part of the programme, work is underway to improve the Integrated Research Application System (IRAS) used by researchers to apply for, and maintain, approvals. This work will ensure IRAS is not only fit for the future, but streamlines and integrates the research journey.

The vision for IRAS is to create a world-class hub for health and social care research in the UK, offering smooth and intuitive access to research approval, study management, best practice guidance and lay-friendly information about the results of research.

We are developing IRAS working in partnership with the devolved administrations, fellow regulators and other research organisations. It is being built in stages to create the best possible system to meet the needs of users. This means that user groups will see and experience changes over time, with feedback from each stage informing the next stage of development.

Users have already started to benefit from some changes, with further benefits to come over the next few years.

This work continues during the COVID-19 pandemic but may be subject to change.

Improvements so far

We have developed new parts of IRAS to provide new functionality and improve the user experience for researchers and sponsors.

Online amendments

You can now submit your amendments online rather than via email.

Online Booking Service

You can now book your review meetings online at your convenience by using our online booking service which you can access 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Combined review for clinical trials of medicines

Our combined review service with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is streamlining the approval and management for Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) through a new part of IRAS.

We have worked with participants from industry and NHS organisations to develop this more integrated service for researchers and sponsors.

Back to partnerships