Joint Research Office


Number of research studies approved to start at UCLH up for third year running

9 June 2023

The number of research studies approved to begin at UCLH has increased for the third year in a row, data from the JRO show.

326 studies were approved by the JRO in 2022-23, compared with 286 in 2021-22, 247 in 2020-21 and 243 in 2019-20.

This increase has happened alongside an increased focus on portfolio management over the last year, in line with the UK Government’s Research Reset programme has involved sponsors taking active decisions to move studies to follow-up or close studies that are no longer able to meet their original objectives. As we have at UCLH/UCL one of the country’s largest portfolios of our own sponsored research, this has been a significant task.

Set up times for studies at UCLH are now faster than in previous years, thanks to a comprehensive review carried out by the JRO into the process and how they can be improved which was completed in 2022.

The average time to approve studies is now 57 days, even for the most complex studies. These are significantly faster timelines than previously. They have also been made possible by systems improvement work in UCLH Pharmacy and UCLH Radiology, both of which are completing their part of the set up process much quicker than previously.

The analysis of study figures, carried out at the close of the 2022-23 financial year, also show a year-on-year increase in the number of commercial sponsored clinical trials: meaning the research that we do with pharmaceutical companies to trial new drugs.

123 commercial trials were approved in 2022-23, compared with 113, 109 and 94 2021-22, 2020-21 and 2019-20 respectively

Dr Nick McNally, Managing Director of Research at UCL and UCLH, said: “Faster set up times mean that research to improve patient care can start sooner. Our JRO and service support departments have worked extremely hard to make the system changes that are delivering these faster timelines.”