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Annual Efficient Studies funding calls for CTU projects


The NIHR is keen to see the design, development and delivery of more efficient, faster, innovative studies to provide robust evidence to inform clinical practice and policy.

The NIHR offered additional funding for CTUs (funded via the NIHR CTU Support Funding scheme) to support developments in the design and delivery of efficient and innovative research.

Funding rounds have been held annually since 2016 with further funding opportunities to be considered. The tables below list the projects funded.




Lead unitProject title
Bristol TC (1) Development of an electronic study management system
Bristol TC (2) "How to run a good Trial Steering Committee”: an online workshop for TSC Chairs of new trials
Leeds CTRU Developing and piloting a template communication to improve information and help elicit preferences in people who stop trial participation early
Norwich CTU (2) Automated record linkage to support the efficient use of pseudonymised routine health record data in clinical trials
Nottingham CTU Blinding of the trial statistician in clinical trials
Sheffield CTRU Learning from COVID-19 related trial adaptations to inform efficient trial design - a sequential mixed methods study
York TU Supporting the implementation of recruitment and retention SWATs 



Lead unitProject title
Birmingham CTU Development of Guidance for Statistical Analysis Plans for Early Phase Clinical Trials
Newcastle CTU Costing Adaptive Trials (CAT): developing best practice costing guidance for CTUs supporting adaptive trials
Southampton CTU  Presenting the evidence about digital tools for improving RCT recruitment and retention in online training packages to increase their uptake and the
evidence base
Sheffield CTRU Value-based Adaptive Clinical Trial Designs for Efficient Delivery of NIHR Research
Liverpool CTC  Implementing CDSIC standards into CTUs to increase efficiency and allow improvements for data sharing                                                                                            
Liverpool CTC Trial Activity Attributions and costs in Clinical Trials Units
Manchester CTU  REDCap Cloud adoption and implementation toolkit
Keele CTU Supporting Effective and Efficient Initiation and Delivery of Individual Participant Data Meta-analyses (SEED: IPD Meta-analysis)




Lead unitProject title
Sheffield CTRU
Updating the App SampSize for the Estimation of Sample Sizes for Clinical Trials
A Practical Adaptive Designs Toolkit
Liverpool TC
Adding value to Information Systems across CTUs                                    
Liverpool TC The UK IBD Registry as a platform to support an efficient randomised clinical trial of e-Health interventions to enhance the monitoring of long term biological therapy
Bristol Collaboration  Feasibility of an efficient study of surgical management of pressure ulcers
Leeds CTRU GSP: Good Statistical Practice (GCP for Statisticians)
Birmingham CTU Developing Expertise of CTU Staff through Massive Online Resource (MOOC's)
Cambridge CTU Eudract Safety Data Input Software Tool  




Lead unitProject title
Liverpool Trials 
Making requests to NHS Digital Easier for Clinical Trials.
Pragmatic CTU PROMiSE – Patient Reported Outcome MeasureS using Electronic informed consent and data capture – developing methods and infrastructure.
Southampton CTU User-focused research to identify the benefits of innovative digital recruitment and retention
tools for more efficient conduct of randomised trials.
Imperial CTU Feasibility evaluation to implement a multi-centre RCT to evaluate a digital tool utilising routine electronic data collection in a Hospital setting.
Sheffield CTRU Outcome Measures for Emergency Care after a Seizure (OMECS).
Oxford NPEU Using electronic health record or disease registry data for clinical trials - a framework practice
Sheffield CTRU The SampSize App to assist in the calculation of sample sizes for clinical trials




Lead unitProject title 
Bristol CTEU Scope the CTUs' requirements for a system to manage the IMP and efficiently develop a secure web-based application to meet requirements in CTU-managed CTIMPs.
ICNARC Inefficiencies in the current delivery of adult critical care research studies (randomised and non-randomised) from duplication of data collection burden and for retrospective data linkage.
Sheffield CTRU Development of CONSORT guidance for adaptive clinical trials.
Leeds CTRU Unlock the potential of international collaboration to provide efficient, faster delivery of patient benefit (International Trials Toolkit).
Liverpool TC Validation of statistical programming: developing efficient regulatory compliant best practice.
Nottingham CTU Improve conduct & efficiency of trials with a standardised set of performance metrics for monitoring & reporting of site performance in trials (developing a standardised tool for presenting metrics).