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Influence our research

What do reviewers do?

Reviewers help the NIHR at every stage of the research process. Our reviewers help to prioritise research topics, ensure we fund the best applications and help to shape our open access reports published by the NIHR Journals Library, and in doing so  play a vital role in maintaining and improving the quality of our research.

Why review for the NIHR?

  1. Make a difference. By reviewing for the NIHR you will be making a significant contribution to the NHS, social care and public health by shaping the research we fund and improving practice.  Our funding programmes identify the highest impact questions for health and social care, so the research you  review will make a real difference.
  1. Insight into the research funding process.
    As an External Peer Reviewer, you can develop valuable insight into best practice in health and social care  research and the standards of successful applications for funding.

  2. Professional development.
    Reviewing research briefs, proposals and research outputs can be used as evidence of continuing professional development (CPD). We provide written confirmation of reviewing tasks that have been completed for inclusion in your CPD portfolio. For consultant grade medical reviewers, there is the additional attraction that peer review for NIHR is recognised in Clinical Excellence Award submissions.

Role of NIHR External Peer Reviewers 

Reviewing bids for NIHR helps me to feel like I am contributing to something bigger, helping NIHR to fund work that answers important questions to improve health and reduce inequalities. 

Dr. Brendan Collins

Who are our External Peer Reviewers?

Our reviewer community is made up of individuals with  a wide range of expertise such as:

  • Academics
  • Clinicians
  • Health service managers and commissioners
  • Practitioners
  • Public health and related professionals
  • Social care sector workers
  • Patients and the Public
  • Anyone whose work has a potential impact on health and social care.

Join our growing reviewer community for your chance to shape our research portfolio and improve public health, social care  and practice in the NHS.

If you would like to register as an NIHR reviewer using your professional experience, then please complete this form.

To register as a reviewer using your experience as a patient, carer, or member of the public, please contact us at

The information you provide will be held on our Management Information System (MIS) so that we can approach you when a suitable reviewing task arises. Find out more about the role of the reviewer.

For longer answers, you can drag the bottom right-hand corner of a text-entry field to expand the size. If you have any other queries about how to fill out this form, please do not hesitate to contact us on 023 8059 5586 or at

Section 1
Section 2

Tell us about yourself

Please use the space below to tell us more about yourself, such as your research areas, published work, methodological expertise, and finally any interests or personal experiences that may be relevant.

Section 3


Please identify the areas in which you could most effectively review 'key' words or phrases (such as paediatric cardiology, service management, health economics, questionnaire design, obesity etc...)

Section 4

Areas of expertise

Please select any areas of expertise relevant to you
Section 5

How did you hear about us?

How you hear about becoming an NIHR reviewer
Section 6

Data protection

By completely this form you are agreeing to your details being added to our management Information System (MIS) database. Your personal information is held and used in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018). The Department of Health and Social Care, National Institute for Health Research (DHSC NIHR) is the Data Controller under GDPR. Under GDPR, we have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. You should be aware that information given to us might be shared with other DHSC NIHR bodies for the purposes of statistical analysis and other DHSC NIHR management purposes. We also reserve the right to share details of research applications with other approved research funding organisations outside the NIHR in order to coordinate research activity in the UK. Information collected from you will not be passed to any third party outside the NIHR except specifically as detailed above without your consent except where we are under a statutory obligation or entitled to do so by law. Applicants may be assured that DHSC NIHR is committed to protecting privacy and to processing all personal information in a manner that meets the requirements of GDPR. You can ask for your details to be removed from our database at any time. 

View the NIHR Privacy Policy


We publish an annual list of reviewers who have completed a review for us during the past year. If you are asked to review, your contribution as a reviewer will be acknowledged on our website as a gesture of our appreciation. We will only list your name, and ensure that there is no indication of the reviewing task that you completed. If you would prefer us not to publish your details, please indicate this by ticking here:

The NIHR Dissemination Centre works with a number of professional and public contributors throughout the entire dissemination process. We encourage regular input from external stakeholders to ensure that the views of our key audiences are kept at the heart of everything we do.

If you are interested in health or social care research, there are lots of ways that you can get involved in the work of the NIHR Dissemination Centre.

Become a rater

Every week, the NIHR Dissemination Centre’s editorial board meet to discuss which abstracts should be turned into Signals. Before the abstracts are discussed, they are sent to professional and public raters for feedback on its relevance and importance to decision makers and patients. Find out more about becoming a rater and how to sign up.

Become an expert commentator

We believe that tremendous value can be added to our summaries by including comments and quotes from experts and patients that have knowledge and expertise in the areas that we cover.  If you are interested in providing commentaries for specific interest areas, or would like further information on exactly what is involved, please let us know by emailing

As a rater, I feel I am able to contribute in some small way towards helping disseminate the right types of health care research – that which is needed, rigorous and applicable to our NHS. 

Dr Ross Atkinson


The James Lind Alliance (JLA) is a non-profit making initiative, established in 2004. It brings patients, carers and clinicians together in Priority Setting Partnerships(PSPs). These PSPs identify and prioritise evidence uncertainties, or unanswered questions, that they agree are the most important. The aim of this is to help ensure that those who fund health research are aware of what really matters to the people who need to use the research in their everyday lives.

If you are interested in setting up your own Priority Setting Partnership, or taking part in PSP surveys, visit at the JLA website for more information and advice. 

Suggest a research topic

Providing the most effective health and social care is a huge challenge. There are so many products and procedures in use, with more being developed all the time, but often there is little good evidence about what works and what doesn’t.

We commission and fund projects looking at the usefulness of new and existing tests, treatments and devices and at new and existing ways of doing things. We also look at how to improve public health to see what really works in practice.

To make good decisions about what research to fund we need a complete and balanced picture about which questions most urgently need answering.  Use the form below to make your research suggestions.


Suggest a research topic