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PQIP is now part of the NIHR Associate Principal Investigator Scheme!


Background of the Associate PI scheme

The Associate Principal Investigator (API) Scheme was initially developed in the West Midlands and focussed on surgical studies. It is now open to Anaesthesia, Peri-Operative Medicine & Pain Management studies and is expanding to studies from other specialities currently. The API scheme is designed to integrate clinical research into clinical training and to develop doctors, nurses and AHPs to be PIs in the future. PQIP has been accepted onto the scheme, which means that trainees can join as API as PQIP enrolled hospital sites.

What is involved and what are the benefits?

The API Scheme has benefits for the Trainee PI in terms of being formally recognised for the hard work that is required to set up and facilitate continued recruitment for a research project locally. For the PIs, it is hoped the API will provide support in recruitment, data collection, results dissemination, and in facilitating local QI from the PQIP main priorities at their local site.

There is an API checklist which is worked through by the API, this is to demonstrate the experience and knowledge gained from fulfilling the role. Experience is usually gained from regular meetings between the PI and API to make sure that the study is on track (usually around fortnightly). Once the checklist is complete after approximately 6 months, it is then discussed with the PI who sends it onto the inbox. The central PQIP team will review the checklist before we then send it on to the API Scheme for a further review. If the checklist has been completed satisfactorily, then an API certificate will be issued.

How do I register as an API?

To register for the Associate PI Scheme, you must first meet the Associate PI Scheme Applicant Eligibility Criteria.

If you meet this criteria, then you must then obtain approval from the Local Site PQIP PI before you submit your application for the scheme. If you are unsure who the Local Site PI is, please speak with your site’s R&D department or email the Central PQIP team at

To complete your registration for PQIP API complete the online form:

One of the prerequisites to being an API is at least 6 months involvement in the study.

If your questions are specific to the API scheme itself, then please visit the link below for more information.