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Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) terms of reference

The role of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) is to:

  • facilitate excellent research and help researchers undertake high quality studies in the NIHR/Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) at both University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) and the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (BWC)
  • review new proposals to use the CRFs on scientific and clinical merit, risks, feasibility and their appropriateness
  • peer review studies that have not been through an external review process
  • refer a project for specialist independent review if appropriate
  • facilitate studies that address the research gap in teenagers by recruiting 14 – 18 year olds across both CRFs as well as supporting adult and paediatric research programmes
  • work with the CRF Operational Committee, which makes detailed decisions about project timelines and resources
  • work within CRF Management Committee parameters


Committee meetings take place every four weeks where SAC business is conducted in private and discussion details kept confidential. The committee is chaired alternatively by programme directors at UHB and BWC. If both programme directors are absent the meeting may be chaired by another CRF director.

All committee members review proposals for scientific merit. They determine whether to recommend a project for implementation within the CRF and prioritise its access. SAC members named as an investigator on a proposal may not review or be present when it is being reviewed.

Project acceptance and prioritisation is determined by consensus. If an agreement cannot be reached, this is determined by a vote of all committee members who are independent of running the CRF (i.e. CRF directors and management staff are excluded). The chair of the meeting has the casting vote if required.

Voting membership is invited from senior staff at the University of Birmingham, UHB and BWC. This can be clinicians, scientists, statisticians or other multidisciplinary staff with the relevant expertise and experience. SAC voting membership is reviewed on a two yearly basis. All CRF directors and senior managers are SAC members.


A committee quorum constitutes:

  • one director from either CRF
  • a clinical manager or deputy from each facility to advise on operational issues
  • a laboratory manager (if they are unable to attend a completed review form should be submitted before to the meeting)
  • a minimum of three voting members, one of which must be a paediatrician if a BWC study is being reviewed and one must be a clinician for adults if a UHB study is being reviewed


Applications are allocated to reviewers at least two weeks in advance of the meeting so that each application will have a lead proponent. If the reviewer is unable to attend, a review form must be sent to the programme director to allow a decision to be made.

Responses will be sent to investigators within 10 working days to inform them if their application has been accepted.

Committee members


Scientific reviewers

  • Dr M Bangash
  • Dr N Bhala
  • Dr S Bowater
  • Dr G Brown
  • Dr D Chanouzas
  • Dr R Cooney
  • Dr A Croft
  • Dr D Crossley
  • Amisha Desai
  • Dr D Dosanjh
  • Ross Edgar
  • Dr N Edwards
  • Dr B Fisher
  • Lt Col Major M Foster
  • Dr C Greig
  • Professor G Hirschfield
  • Dr M Iacucci
  • Dr T Iqbal
  • Dr T Jackson
  • Professor N James
  • Prof Lt Col S Jeffery
  • Dr D Kotecha
  • Dr V Kunene
  • Dr Y T Ma
  • Dr K Manolopoulos
  • Dr B Menezes
  • Dr P Nightingale
  • Dr D Parekh
  • Dr S Pathmakanthan
  • Dr M Quraishi
  • Professor D Rea
  • Dr B Rhodes
  • Dr A Richter
  • Dr I Sahbudin
  • Dr A Scott
  • Dr N Steven
  • Dr J Stockley
  • Dr B Sutton
  • Dr A Turner
  • Dr T Veenith
  • Dr J Webber
  • Dr T Whitehouse

Operational reviewers

  • Dr E Sapey
  • Joanna Gray
  • Joanne Plumb


Scientific reviewers

  • Dr D Barron
  • Dr A MacDonald
  • Dr D Milford
  • Dr B Morland
  • Dr M Ogboli
  • Dr K Morris

Operational reviewers

  • Professor T Barrett

Last reviewed: 28 April 2021