Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit (PenCTU)

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.


Imagine you’re a patient. There’s a new treatment that could help you and others like you, which scientists need to learn more about. You’ve been asked to join a clinical trial. But what does that entail?

Clinical trials are an important part of modern healthcare and understanding the best interventions that can help patients, and yet relatively few people will participate in one or even understand what they involve.

Without clinical trials to investigate if new treatments work for people, a considerable number of medicines and treatments would not be available.

A link to the results from the mock clinical trial, 'The Chocolate Trial' which was held in January 2020 will be here shortly.

Thank you to all that took part, making this mock trial very enjoyable and a huge success.

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 causing 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 per cent), 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