Skip to main content

CRF trial applications

Types of research

The NIHR/Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is multi-specialty and receives funding from the NIHR, specifically for experimental medicine research. Later-phase studies with an experimental element or complex visits which cannot be accommodated elsewhere at UHB are also considered.

CRF staff work closely with Research, Development and Innovation teams at UHB and the University of Birmingham (UoB) to ensure research projects are carried out in the most appropriate setting. The CRF is a dedicated research space and it is not appropriate for any NHS service work to be undertaken in the facility.

Application process

All research projects running through the CRF must be approved by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), which reviews the study for scientific merit.

The SAC is a joint meeting between the adult and paediatric CRF and takes place every four weeks. Each study is discussed by the SAC members who will undertake a peer review if this is necessary.

SAC approval is required to make use of CRF facilities, staff, equipment or laboratories. This process runs in parallel to the assess, arrange and confirm (AAC) process which underpins the Trust's capability and capacity approval.

The stages of the application process are as follows:

  1. Investigator arranges an informal meeting with a senior manager to discuss if the study is within the remit of the CRF
  2. If it is within CRF remit, the investigator completes and submits a SAC study application form
  3. An independent peer review is appointed to review the application and associated documentation
  4. The reviewer presents the study at the SAC meeting where scientific merit and value are discussed
  5. A decision is made during the meeting for the study approval, rejection or request for more information
  6. A letter will be sent from the meeting chair to the investigator within 10 days

The SAC study application form is available to download. It is advisable that investigators contact the relevant clinical mangers to discuss the feasibility of a study prior to an application being made.

For more information on the SAC, please see the terms of reference page.

Trial application contacts

Trial application leads: Jo Gray and Jo O’Neill

Last reviewed: 26 April 2021