Policy paper

The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery

A UK vision to unleash the full potential of clinical research delivery to tackle health inequalities, bolster economic recovery and to improve the lives of people across the UK.


Executive summary


The future of clinical research delivery sets out the vision for a more patient-centred, pro-innovation and digitally-enabled clinical research environment, which builds on the successes and the lessons we have learned in response to COVID-19 and harnesses the UK’s potential to capitalise on cutting-edge innovations across all treatments and technologies, all phases of research and all conditions.

Our vision puts clinical research delivery front and centre of our plans to build back better so we can tackle the healthcare challenges of the future and patients across the UK and around the world benefit from better health outcomes.

The 5 key themes underpinning the vision are:

  • clinical research embedded in the NHS
  • patient-centred research
  • streamlined, efficient and innovative research
  • research enabled by data and digital tools
  • a sustainable and supported research workforce

Our goal is to create a clinical research delivery ecosystem which will shape the future of healthcare and improve people’s lives for years to come.

Following on from publication of the vision, each UK nation will set out strategies and plans, as appropriate, which will detail the steps each administration will take to meet these shared priorities.

The Department of Health and Social Care would like to thank the research community and all stakeholders for their help in developing this vision.

Published 23 March 2021