Journals Library

Pilot and Feasibility Studies

The NIHR Journals Library ensures that the results of pilot and feasibility studies that have been funded by the participating programmes are published, regardless of outcome or significance of findings in order to ensure that as much information as possible about each study is in the public domain. There may be occasions when a successful pilot or feasibility study should be published along with the substantive study rather than separately. The reasons for combining or separating the two reports will be considered by the Editors on a case by case basis.

  • Feasibility Studies are defined as 'pieces of research done before a main study in order to answer the question"can this study be done?". They are used to estimate important parameters that are needed to design the main study... feasibility studies do not evaluate the outcome of interest'
  • Pilot studies are defined as 'a version of the main study that is run in miniature to test whether the components of the main study can all work together.  It is focused on the processes of the main study... it will therefore resemble the main study in many respects'.

For more information see: 

Feasibility studies:

Pilot Studies:

The published reports of pilot and feasibility studies are often used to inform future funding decisions. Authors are encouraged to report everything, be transparent in their reporting, be reflective and avoid overstating their findings.