At the RCGP we define research as systematic investigation that results in new conclusions. Whilst not a research organisation, the RCGP recognises the key role that research plays in advancing the highest quality of care for patients.

The Research Programme in CIRC:

  • Facilitates making research more relevant to the RCGP membership base
  • Upskills and enables GPs and GP practices to participate in research
  • Highlights and celebrates the highest quality research from the UK to support clinical practice and patient care
  • Influences primary care research and funding within the UK

In CIRC we support, celebrate and facilitate research, and encourage the dissemination of research findings across the primary care community. We collaborate with researchers drawing upon our networks of GPs and patients, involving GPs as Clinical Champions and Advisers and working closely with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and NIHR Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN). Our fellowships and grants support GP-led research activities, and our awards celebrate the best of primary care research.

Research and production of objective evidence is central for GPs to be able to deliver the best care possible to their patients. The College has a number of strategic partnerships through which it supports and influences research within the UK. The College influences research within the UK by identifying the important research areas within general practice and working with the NIHR to prioritise these.

RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre

The RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) is an internationally renowned source of information, analysis and interpretation of primary care data. Established in 1957, the RCGP RSC is an active research and surveillance unit that collects and monitors data, in particular influenza, from over 230 practices across England.

The RCGP RSC dataset is nationally representative, and some of the highest quality and freshest data available.

Research Grants and Fellowships

The RCGP Scientific Foundation Board (SFB) is the RCGP’s charitable funding body. It awards grants for research projects whose findings will be of direct relevance to the care of patients in general practice. The RCGP annually allocates over £100,000 of funding to research grants and fellowships. We work collaboratively to maximise the impact of these awards. Previous partners have included Marie Curie, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and the Society for Academic Primary Care (SAPC).

Research Ready®

Research Ready is a quality assurance programme for all research-active UK GP practices. It supports both research-interested practices through Research Ready Universal, and practices who have demonstrable experience of participating in complex research projects through Research Ready Advanced.

Research Ready Universal gives access to training and support for the whole practice team to upskill them to engage with research, while Research Ready Advanced acts as a quality mark for practices to demonstrate their capability and experience in performing complex research.

Impact from Research

The RCGP is well placed with networks and reach to influence and communicate research findings in the primary care community, and to ensure GPs remain informed and supported.

We offer UK-based researchers the opportunity to partner with the RCGP on projects that have the potential to have an impact on the delivery of care. It enables us to engage directly with research projects, working with both researchers as well as established academic GPs.

Research Awards

Celebrating excellence in primary care research is an important part of the Research Programme in CIRC at the RCGP.

The RCGP Research Paper of the Year Award has given recognition to an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of high quality research relating to general practice or primary care since 1996. Authors of the award-winning paper are invited to present at the RCGP Annual Conference.

We also recognise that excellence in research requires outstanding individuals; the joint RCGP-SAPC Yvonne Carter Award for Outstanding New Researcher recognises the contributions of early career researchers annually in advancing the discipline of academic primary care.

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