Clinical trials are complex, often expensive projects, expected to be run to exacting ethical and regulatory standards. Even well designed trials, funded through national, peer-reviewed funding competitions, can go wrong: a large proportion of trials experience significant delays, early termination, or inability to draw conclusions at completion.
These challenges are recognised by NIHR, research councils, other major funders of research, sponsor organisations and regulators, such that investigators applying for funds to conduct clinical trials are encouraged to engage with a UKCRC-registered Clinical Trials Unit. The substantive involvement of a UKCRC-registered CTU may sometimes be a condition of funding and sponsorship.
Navigating these challenges begins with good research design. Through affiliation with the University of Plymouth Medical Statistics group and close working relationship with the South West NIHR Research Design Service, PenCTU provides bespoke research methodological input right at the start of a clinical trial’s lifecycle.