Research applications

Expedited review of research protocols relating to COVID-19 research only may be requested from CPRD. To ascertain whether your protocol is eligible for rapid review, please prepare a clear impact statement about your research impact on public health safety or policy. This should be emailed to for consideration. The CPRD research data governance team will confirm whether your application is eligible for expedited review.

To avoid duplication of research effort, please see information on COVID-19 studies underway. Find out more about the COVID-19 data included in the CPRD primary care databases and about linkages to COVID-19 datasets.

Access to CPRD data, including UK Primary Care Data, and linked data such as Hospital Episode Statistics, is subject to protocol approval via CPRD’s Research Data Governance (RDG) Process. Independent scientific and patient advice is provided by Expert Review Committees (ERCs) and the Central Advisory Committee (CAC). 

For more information please contact the RDG Secretariat at 

View the list of approved studies using CPRD data

Research protocols

All protocols to access CPRD data must be submitted via the Electronic Research Applications Portal (eRAP) at, following the guidance provided. Applicants, and all members of the research team, need an approved eRAP account in order to submit an application. Amendments to approved protocols should also be submitted via eRAP within 3 years 11 months from the protocol approval date, in line with the 4-year lifespan on all protocols.

Any questions regarding the RDG process should be sent to the RDG Secretariat by emailing

Privacy notice

We will use personal data provided as part of an application for studies using CPRD data, both to arrange, support, and control use of that information under contract or licence and to vet applications for access to CPRD and related data (particularly CVs and past experience for chief and principal investigators). Please look here for more information about your legal rights and how to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office

Feasibility studies

A feasibility study is a study where the intended purpose is to assess the feasibility of conducting a future study. This could include assessing the feasibility of a future observational study using CPRD data, or a prospective observational study involving enhanced data collection (questionnaires or bio-samples), or an interventional study (for e.g. pragmatic trial). Applicants may also use CPRD data to assess the feasibility of a future study that does not involve using CPRD data or services.

Feasibility study applications must be submitted to CPRD via the Electronic Research Applications Portal (eRAP) at, following the guidance provided below.

Feasibility study application guidance notes (PDF, 233KB, 9 pages)

Exemptions and analyses for medicines regulatory bodies

Some uses of primary care data for submissions to medicines regulatory bodies have been pre-approved by CPRD and do not require a research application. Analyses under this exemption are limited to numerator or denominator counts and exclude rate estimation. Examples of counts that are pre-approved by CPRD include:

  • Counts of patients receiving prescriptions for a certain substance; 
  • Counts of prescriptions for a certain substance / substances; 
  • Distribution of number of prescriptions per patient (mean, median, minimum, maximum, interquartile range etc…); 
  • Distribution of prescription duration; 
  • Distribution of patient time at risk; 
  • Counts of patients with a particular clinical event. 

If the above analyses require access to linked data sources, a research application must be submitted to obtain data access. Please contact for further advice.

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