Research passports and letters of access

External researchers with no contractual arrangements with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust are required to apply to the research and development department to obtain access to the trust premises, patients and patient data.  

Depending on your circumstances and the nature of your research study, the following access documents might be issued:

  • Honorary Research Contract (HRC): researchers who plan to undertake research which requires access to patients and identifiable patient data and has a direct bearing on the quality of patient care (for example provision of healthcare, personal care and guidance on well-being)
  • Letter of Access (LoA): 
    • extension of NHS terms of employment for an NHS employee undertaking research in another NHS organisation
    • employee of a higher education institution with no contractual arrangement with the NHS who plans to undertake research which requires access to NHS premises or access to patients and patient data with no direct bearing on the quality of care (for example qualitative interviews, focus groups, on-site analysis of patient data

Please make your application to

If you would like to find out more about access for external researchers, please see: