The Research Passport system allows researchers who have no employment contract with a particular NHS Trust to gain access to conduct research within that and other NHS organisations to carry out research activities and provides assurance that appropriate pre-engagement checks have been carried out.

The Government set out its standards in the Research in the NHS: Human Resource (HR) Good Practice Resource Pack to streamline the process of gaining access for research. There are two forms of access that may be granted to research staff:

Honorary Research Contract (HRC)

If the research activities will have a bearing on patient care and the applicant does not have any contractual status with the NHS, then they will be required to gain a HRC.

Letter of Access (LoA)

For applicants requiring all other types of access, the LoA is designed for researchers conducting work which shall have no direct bearing on patient’s care. A NHS-NHS LoA is issued for applicants who already hold a contract with the NHS but at another Trust but wish to access NuTH for any research purposes (including clinical academics who hold Honorary clinical contracts with other Trusts).

For further information, please email For Newcastle University staff wishing to access NuTH for research related activities, please contact Newcastle University HR in the first instance to assist with the application process.