Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit (PenCTU)

Contact us

Please contact us as early as possible so we can help you plan your research and include the costs of our support in your grant application. PenCTU does not provide funding for research.

If you need help with an existing study, please ensure you have sufficient funds to meet the costs of our support.



+44 1752 439831


Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit
Faculty of Health
University of Plymouth
Room N16
ITTC 1 Building
Plymouth Science Park

Map of Plymouth Science Park

Welcome to the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit (PenCTU) based within the Faculty of Health at the University of Plymouth.

The PenCTU is a leading academic clinical trials unit with expertise in designing, developing, supporting and co-ordinating high quality, multi-centre clinical trials and other well-designed studies that will directly influence clinical and healthcare practice. 

PenCTU is a fully registered clinical trials unit in the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) and currently receives National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CTU support funding. This funding has been awarded to support the Unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials.

The PenCTU works in partnership with clinicians, researchers, the NIHR Research Design Service South West, the Clinical Research Network and other partners from across the South West Peninsula and beyond, starting with the funding application, to deliver the full spectrum of clinical trial expertise to applicable standards and regulations. 

PenCTU has considerable experience in drug trials, other non-drug interventional trials, trials of complex interventions, pilot trials and feasibility studies, across a broad range of clinical and health-related areas. If you are interested in working with us, please approach us at the earliest opportunity.

The Chocolate Trial – results summary

In January 2020, PenCTU held a mock randomised controlled trial, The Chocolate Trial, as part of the University of Plymouth’s 2020 Research Festival. University staff, students and members of the public were invited to participate, with the aim of engaging the public and improving knowledge and understanding of clinical trials and the role they play in the advancement of medical and healthcare treatments.

The Chocolate Trial investigated whether flavoured chocolate improved mood more than plain chocolate.

Results summary

NIHR at 10 – The Revert Study

An estimated 125,000 people in the UK are affected by supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), a common heart rhythm disorder that causes periods of abnormally fast heart rate. In emergency departments in the UK, SVT is treated using the Valsalva manoeuvre, which involves breathing out moderately forcefully against resistance. Whilst safe, the success rate is low (5–20%) and the alternative involves a dose of adenosine – an unpleasant experience that some patients report as a feeling of impending death.

More details about the study.

Image provided courtesy of the NIHR.

Who we are