Research passports

Please see the Research Passport pages on the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust site for full information.

Researchers wishing to conduct research within the NHS may require a research passport if they do not have an employment contract with the NHS.

  • Where research is only within the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust the research passport is the mechanism for obtaining Honorary Research Contracts (HRCs) or Letters of Access (LoA) to work within the Trust.
  • Where research is to be carried out in multiple NHS Trust facilities, the research passport obtained from the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust can then be used as to facilitate obtaining the appropriate HRCs and LoAs from the other sites.

What is a 'research passport'?

The research passport is a form which is completed by the researcher, supervisor and administration team detailing the work to be done and the pre-engagement checks which have validated the researcher's suitability to carry out the research. The form is sent to the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Research Support Services Manager, who confirms the information, validates the form and returns it with an HRC or LoA. The validated form is then considered a 'research passport'

Where research is to be conducted within more than one NHS Trust, the research passport document can then be presented to the new Trust, who may choose to accept the validation and checking carried out by the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, rather than carrying out checks again, in order to facilitate obtaining further HRCs or LoAs.

Who needs a research passport?

Researchers wishing to conduct research within the NHS may require a research passport if they do not have an employment contract with the NHS. If you think you need a research passport you should contact the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Research Support Services Manager to discuss your research plans and obtain the research passport form and completion guidelines.

How do I get a research passport

The research passport is simply a form in which:

  • the researcher completes personal details and gives details of their research, including the period for which is required;
  • the research supervisor states whether the work will involve contact with children or vulnerable adults ('regulated activity'), and confirms that the researcher is suitably qualified and trained to carry out the research; and
  • the departmental administration team confirm that appropriate pre-engagement checks have been carried out by the University. These will include DBS disclosures, medical health screening, proof of right to work in the UK, evidence of qualifications and professional registration. Evidence of these checks will be required.

The completed document is then passed to the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Research Support Services Manager for checking and validation. Where checks are confirmed as appropriate, an Honorary Research Contract (HRC) or Letter of Access (LoA) will be provided, together with the validated research passport application which then becomes the 'research passport'.

What happens when a research passport holder leaves?

The departmental administration team must inform the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Research Support Services Manager whenever a research passport holder leaves so that the research passport and any associated Honorary Research Contracts (HRCs) or Letters of Access (LoA) can be cancelled.