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Becoming a Local Study Lead

What does the role involve?

While not responsible for the delivery of the study (as a ‘Principal Investigator’ would be), the role ELFT expects a local study lead to undertake is more significant than mere ‘collaborator’. 

The ELFT Local Lead will be that study’s representative at ELFT: the single point of contact, the liaison person.  The Local Lead is that study’s ‘ambassador’ within ELFT and should brief the relevant Clinical Directors at an early stage to ensure their engagement and/or identify any obstacles or concerns.

The Local Lead supports practical arrangements – for example, identifying the specific ELFT services and resources needed to support the project and introducing the central study team to them.

How many Local Leads are needed for a study?

From a both a governance and study management perspective, each study will have just one, single ELFT Local Lead.  Where a study is taking place across multiple geographies or services across the Trust, the Local Lead will collaborate with colleagues from those teams, but remains the single point of contact at ELFT for the study.

Who is an appropriate ELFT Local Lead?

Staff – both clinical and non-clinical – with an ELFT substantive employment contract can act as an ELFT Local Study Lead.  Clinical Academics, whose substantive employer is a university, may be qualified provided that they are meaningfully engaged with an ELFT service beyond the delivery of research.  In other words, someone who spends programmed time with ELFT services delivering healthcare.

Support available

There are free courses available to ELFT staff interested in supporting research by becoming a Local Study Lead, including the NIHR Associate Principal Investigator (PI) scheme a six month in-work training opportunity, providing practical experience for healthcare professionals starting their research career. 

Interested in learning more?

Contact the Research & Innovation team at