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For Researchers


Why you should do research

Research is essential to find out which treatments work better for your patients. It plays an important role in discovering new treatments, and making sure that we use existing treatments in the best possible ways.

Royal Berkshire can help you develop your research protocol, patient information sheets, informed consent forms and other patient facing documents. The Trust can sometimes sponsor your study too, providing you with the safety and reassurance that your project is being maintained in accordance with current legislation and guidelines. Unfortunately, we are not able to sponsor research involving an investigational medicinal product or using a non-licensed device. Sponsorship requests are to be discussed with the core R&D team using the details provided on the 'We Are...' page.

We offer face to face, on-site training for new and existing researchers – a key requirement for anyone involved in the conduct of clinical research is Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training. GCP encompasses the ethical and scientific quality standards for which all research must adhere to. Compliance with these standards means the rights, safety and wellbeing of trials subjects are protected, and that the research data is credible.

If you would like to book onto this training, please get in touch.

 If your thinking about doing a research project at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, get in touch with R&D as soon as you can. The R&D Core team are here to support researchers in developing their ideas and guiding you through the approval process. 

Is your project research?

The first question to ask when you considering setting up a study is: ‘Is it research?’ Research is governed much differently from other types of studies, and will often need regulatory approval and formal approval by the Trust R&D department. Research-type methods are sometimes used in projects that are not always themselves regarded as research. These could include clinical audits, surveillance and service evaluation. The Health Research Authority (HRA) has implemented a Defining Research Leaflet and Decision Tool to aid you in categorising your project.

If you are still unaware of how to categorise your project after this, please get in touch with us.

The REC/HRA Approval Process

See this link to find out more information regarding the Research Ethics Committee (REC) andHRA approval process. The website also gives information regarding post approval amendments to studies. 

You can also find lots of useful information on the Internal RBFT Intranet, there are 2 pages devoted to providing information to researchers. You can find out page under the 'People and Teams' tab. 

What does RBFT R&D need to approve my research project?

The most important document you need from the Research Office at RBFT is a letter of capacity and capability. This letters means that we have conducted governance reviews and risk assessed the study. R&D aim to issue this letter within 40 working days of receipt of all below documents*. To be able to issue this letter R&D must be sent the following documents*:

  • Final, locked IRAS form
  • Protocol and supporting documents such as consent forms, patient information sheets etc
  • A model agreement if applicable
  • Statement of activities and schedule of events if applicable
  • REC favourable opinion letters and/or HRA approval Letters (if your study already has HRA Approval)
  • Any sponsorship/funder confirmation letters if applicable
  • A completed feasibility form (found on the R&D Intranet document library)
  • A completed authorisation signature form (found on the R&D Intranet document library)
  • If the study needs additional support from other departments such as pathology, radiology, then a request for review form must be filled out (found on the R&D document library).

*This list is not exhaustive

If you have a research interest but can’t find a study to get started on, come and speak to the team who can talk you through potential opportunities and support you in developing your interest.


Click here for Information for Healthcare Professionals engaging in Clinical Research

Click here for Engaging Health and Social Care colleagues in Research


Research & Development have an open door policy and are situated on Level 2 in North Block at Royal Berkshire Hospital. Feel free to drop in and chat to us.

If you have a research interest, but don't know where to start, come and speak to us...

Research & Development,
Level 2, North Block
London Road
Reading, Berkshire

0118 322 8140


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    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    RG1 5AN
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    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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