How do we work?

collaborations image 1 We are a UKCRC fully registered trials unit, which means that we have met certain standards of quality assessment in both academic and practical aspects of running trials. This status is recognized by funding agencies. Running a trial through ICTU will ensure that it is robust and is likely to help increase the chances of gaining successful funding.

We aim to work in a collaborative way with investigators in order to ensure that both parties share their expertise most productively. 

For further information on the collaboration process, please email

Collaborative Process

What type of research proposal will be considered by ICTU?

ICTU will consider approaches made from Investigators and Sponsors, both internal and external to Imperial College London, commercial and non-commercial and across any phase within the development cycle including:

  • Clinical trials or other well designed studies, including those which form part of a ‘programme’ of work or fellowship.
  • Standalone Pilot trials (external pilot trials) and small Feasibility trials may be considered as long as there is a clear strategy of trial development to deliver a definitive phase III trial, and there is a reasonable chance of securing sufficient funding.
  • Complex or ‘high risk’ single site trials where CTU support is required and can be funded.
  • PhD projects, Clinical Audits, “Own account” research, Standalone Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses will not be supported.

If you are not sure whether your proposal is eligible for CTU support, then please email a short summary of the proposal with details of the funding stream and deadline (if known) to

When should Investigators approach ICTU?

As early as possible during the development phase.

Proposals with very short deadlines (less than 2 months) are unlikely to be supported due to insufficient time scales.

For NIHR commissioned and themed funding calls, Investigators are encouraged to contact ICTU as soon as the funding call is out, to ensure that CTU support is available to work on the proposal.

Who should the Investigator contact to discuss working with ICTU?

If you are working in one of the key therapeutic areas (Cancer, Cardiovascular & Diabetes, Emergency and Critical Care, HIV & Infectious Diseases or Surgery & Robotics) please contact your dedicated ICTU Operations Manager.

If you are working in a different therapeutic area then please send your enquiry to

What does the ICTU collaboration process involve?

There are 2 key stages to the process:

  1. Review by the therapeutic area peer review group or clinical expert.
  2. Review by the ICTU Collaboration Committee.

Only proposals that have been approved at both stages will be included in the ICTU Portfolio and allowed to reference the UKCRC CTU number.

Please see the Flowchart of ICTU Collaboration Process for more details.

How do ICTU decide which proposals to support?

The following questions will be addressed during the review process:

  • Is CTU involvement required? What type of CTU support is needed during the grant design and delivery stages (please visit About Us: Our Expertise for further details)?
  • Is the trial design appropriate/ methodologically sound?
  • Why is the research question important now?
  • Will the research contribute to the evidence base and potentially impact on clinical practice?
  • Is the research question important to patients?
  • Is the trial feasible?
  • Are there any competing studies that would impact on study delivery?
  • Does the investigator have the experience to deliver the proposal?
  • Is the funding stream appropriate?
  • Is there sufficient time to prepare the grant application?

Consideration will also be given to how the proposal sits within the strategic aims of ICTU, the wider College, and the potential opportunities for collaboration.

What paperwork is required during the review process?

The ICTU Collaboration Request Form is used to capture information about the proposal. A copy of the form can be requested from

How long does the review process take?

This is a complex process and the review will take as long as is necessary to create a strong research proposal. ICTU will endeavour to work with the Investigator to meet the agreed funding deadline.

When does the ICTU Collaboration Committee meet?

The 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.

Who are the members of the ICTU Collaboration Committee?

What is expected from the Investigator?

The ICTU Charter of Collaboration sets out the key responsibilities of the Investigator and the Imperial Clinical Trial Unit, working together on an ICTU Portfolio trial, and helps to manage expectations.

A copy of the charter can be requested from