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Working with CTU

NICTU staff are keen to collaborate with colleagues on clinical trials and other well designed studies.  Our involvement starts from planning the outline proposal, through the successful running of the project to the dissemination of the results. The NICTU will generally collaborate on projects in any area of health or social care and these studies are typically funded from external sources, however we may need to prioritise projects for support.  This decision will be made by the NICTU Study Adoption Committee (SAC) and will be based on the proposed source of funding, NICTU capacity and in line with the PHA R&D local strategic priorities. As the NICTU is likely to be supporting several grant submissions at any one time, we would ask that the Chief Investigator (CI) contact us early to discuss their application.

  • Commissioned calls, at least 6-8 weeks prior to submission deadline
  • Themed calls, at least 10 weeks prior to submission deadline
  • Researcher Led calls, at least 12 weeks prior to submission deadline

Investigators contacting us close to the deadline for submission may find that we are unable to provide support.  It would be inappropriate for NICTU to sign off applications for funding which we have not contributed and for NICTU to be cited as the CTU for a study without prior discussion. If you would like to collaborate with the NICTU, please complete the NICTU Collaboration Request Form and send this to

Your request will be submitted to the Study Adoption Committee, who meet once a month, and you will receive the outcome of the Study Adoption Committee’s review within 2 working days of the meeting. At that time further information may be requested or a meeting may be arranged with relevant staff to determine whether the NICTU will be able to provide support. Following the meeting with the research team the SAC will advise on the level of support the NICTU can provide. If the NICTU decides it cannot provide support we will make every effort to suggest alternative sources of support.

NICTU Collaboration Criteria

As the NICTU trials portfolio continues to develop we may need to prioritise the projects that NICTU can support.  There are a number of criteria that the SAC will consider when adopting a study into the NICTU Portfolio which includes:

Research Question

  • The proposed RCT/study must address a clinically important question and the proposed study if successful could change clinical practice or public health policy.
  • Phase II trials with the potential to move to a Phase III trial will be considered.


  • An appropriate systematic review supports the need for a trial.

Research Team           

  • Previous experience of the Chief Investigator and the research team.


  • The availability of senior NICTU staff to work up the proposal.
  • Realistic timelines for grant submissions, study set up and recruitment.
  • The suitability of the proposed participating sites, and the feasibility to recruit and retain participants on to the trial.


  • Potential sources of funding have been identified for example a commissioned, themed or researcher led call.
  • NICTU involvement in the study will be fully costed, in relation to staff costs and consumables.

Disease Area               

  • Priority may be given to trials of local strategic importance, however projects in any area of health or social care will be considered.

Unfortunately our current funding and structure does not allow us to provide a general research advisory service or standalone statistical support. Therefore the HSC R&D Division (HSC R&D) are providing a statistical and methodological ‘sign-posting and advice service’ for HSC researchers