Research Support Centre
The Research Support Centre provides expert advice and support across the whole life and medical sciences research lifecycle, from discovery through to exploitation of clinical and translational research. The centre has two primary functions: i) to facilitate the delivery of the School of Life and Medical Sciences research strategy and to build partnerships beyond UCL, and ii) to bring together all the clinical research management and support services for SLMS, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.
To achieve these goals the centre is made up of two inter-relating components. The Academic Research Support Centre consists of the Research Coordination Office, Platform Technologies team and a Translational Research Office. The Clinical Research Support Centre is made up of the Joint Research Office; the UCLH/UCL Clinical Research Facility; the UCL Clinical Trials Unit and the management of the UCLH/UCL National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre.
The Research Support Centre encompasses a wide range of expertise and facilities. By coordinating these resources, we can provide researchers with a package of support that is integrated, high quality and streamlined – and clearly accountable.
Once a researcher has a proposal for high quality research that will benefit patients, they can access all the help and resources they need through one gateway. This includes support with the approval process and funding applications and help setting up clinical trials.
The Research Support Centre (RSC) is made up of the following:
- Research Coordination Office (RCO): The Research Coordinator Office supports and coordinates internal research initiatives, particularly relating to the SLMS Research Domains (Neuroscience; Basic life sciences; Cancer; Cardiometabolic science; Infection, inflammation and immunology; Frontier disciplines; Reproduction and development; Experimental medicine and Population health). Research Coordinators bring together communities by facilitating events and forums and encouraging academic interaction across Divisions and Institutes, and develop mutually beneficial relationships with external funding agencies.
- Platform Technologies: The Platform Technologies team helps to develop closer working and shared knowledge between UCL research groups who have similar equipment and expertise. They aid cutting edge basic and translational research projects by more effective organization and implementation of these key resources.
- Translational Research Office (TRO): The aims of the TRO are to enhance the translational culture within UCL and to facilitate the translation of UCL’s basic and clinical research into therapies, techniques and medical products with therapeutic value. These aims are achieved through interacting with investigators, identifying translatable opportunities, advising on project progression strategy and accessing suitable funding. The TRO also provides project management expertise to steer programmes towards practical endpoints.
- Joint Research Office: Covering UCL, UCLH and Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, this office is responsible for the management, support and oversight of the clinical research portfolio. The JRO has dedicated teams in NHS Research Management and Governance, UCL clinical trials sponsorship and oversight, finance and contracts, education and biostatistics and risk and regulation. JRO staff support clinical investigators with the design, set up and approval of new clinical trials and other research projects. The JRO works closely with the R&D Offices of Great Ormond Street Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
- National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre: The Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is the driver for experimental medicine at UCLH/UCL. The RSC provides the management support function for the BRC’s research themes which reflect the expertise and world class research strengths of UCLH and UCL. The UCLH/UCL BRC works on important collaborative initiatives with UCL’s two other NIHR BRCs at Great Ormond Street Hospital/UCL Institute of Child Health and Moorfields Eye Hospital/UCL Institute of Ophthalmology.
- UCLH/UCL Clinical Research Facility: This 20-bed facility in the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing of University College Hospital provides a high quality research environment and Good Clinical Practice trained research nurses and other staff, to ensure the safe conduct of clinical trials and other research. The CRFC has a major focus on experimental medicine research but also supports later phase trials, many of which are carried out under contract or in partnership with industry. The UCLH/UCL CRF is part of a network of UCL CRFs, which includes the Somers Clinical Research Facility at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
- UCL Clinical Trials Unit: This clinical trials unit provides leadership for clinical trials at UCL and supports actual delivery of trials and studies. The UCL CTU focuses mainly on non-cancer clinical trials and works closely with UCL’s other CTUs in cancer and primary care and mental health – PRIMENT, as well as with the MRC Clinical Trials Unit.