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14 resources to help you develop a great clinical research proposal

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by Cancer Research UK | Research Feature

12 April 2017

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Nurses at CRUK Imperial Centre

Designing a clinical trial or study is a complex task, with many practical and regulatory hurdles to cross. The resources below will help you find advice and navigate the complexities of your study design and application.

Our Expert Review Panels judge applications on several criteria, including how well the project plan addresses study design, costings, recruitment and data sharing, and our Clinical Research Committee will assess how your application fits with our strategic priorities.

General advice on study design

The best thing you can do to develop a great application is seek advice from and build collaborations with the experts in delivering this research. The UK has a strong infrastructure for clinical research with many resources to consider.

Clinical Trials Units

Use for: Expertise in centrally coordinating multicentre clinical trials, as well as in trial design, costings, data management and analysis.


NCRI Clinical Studies and Advisory Groups

Use for: Advice from trials experts — including clinicians, scientists, statisticians and people affected by cancer — on study design, recruitment and management.


NIHR Study Support Service

Use for: Support with development, set-up and delivery or your research in the NHS, including advice from clinical experts, help with costing and regulatory submissions, identification of participating sites and monitoring recruitment.


Clinical Trials Toolkit

Use for: An interactive route map to help you navigate the legal and practical requirements for the design and conduct of clinical trials in the UK.


Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials

Use for: Ensuring you’re using appropriate, standard outcome measures in your study.

Patient involvement and recruitment

PPI Toolkit

Use for: Understanding how involving people affected by cancer can add value to your research, and practical advice to get you started.


Research Nurses

Use for: Practical advice and support with recruitment, including patient involvement and insight into issues faced by people affected by cancer.


Using human tissue and biological samples

If you plan to use human tissue or samples in your study, you’ll need to demonstrate that your use is within ethical guidelines. We also encourage you to maximise the value gained from human samples by reusing existing sample sets where possible, and making the samples you collect available to others.

Guidelines on human tissue and biological samples

Use for: Ensuing your use of human tissue or samples meets statutory regulations and ethical guidelines.


UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre

Use for: Discovering if existing suitable sample sets exist, and how to register your own sample sets.

Attributing costs of research associated with the NHS

The NHS facilitates research by covering the patient care and treatment costs involved in provision of experimental treatments. You must correctly attribute these costs in your application.

Use for: Understanding which costs to apply to CRUK for and which to attribute to NHS treatment and support costs.

Writing a data sharing plan

Our committees will expect you to have thought seriously about how you will manage your data and maximise its value to the research community.

Use for: Information on structuring your data sharing plan and inspiration for how to manage and share data within the operational and regulatory constraints of clinical research.

Our research priorities

We support a broad portfolio of clinical research across disease sites and stages, treatment modalities and the patient journey, and we will always judge applications first and foremost on the quality of the proposed science and its potential impact for people affected by cancer.

But we’re also increasing our funding in targeted areas that we believe will help us achieve our vision of 3 in 4 patients surviving their disease by 2034.

Clinical Research Statement of Intent

Use for: Understanding our priorities in clinical research, from innovation in study design to learning as much as we can from patients on our trials.


Our Research Strategy

Use for: A deeper understanding our research priorities, from cancers with substantial unmet need to the optimisation of treatments.

Our Research Funding Managers

Our Research Funding Managers are here to advise on eligibility for our funding schemes and guide you through the application process, so explore our clinical research opportunities now and get in touch with the relevant Research Funding Manager to discuss your proposed research.