Ms Sarah Bathers

Deputy Director, Primary Care Clinical Research & Trials Unit (PC-CRTU)

Primary Care Clinical Sciences


Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 3323

Fax +44 (0)121 414 2282


Primary Care Clinical Research and Trials Unit (PC-CRTU), Primary Care Clinical Sciences
Health and Population Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT


Sarah Bathers is Deputy Director of the Primary Care Clinical Research & Trials Unit. Her role at the unit involves managing a portfolio of Primary Care Clinical Trials and a multidisciplinary team, with day-to-day responsibility for over 59 staff and indirect or partial management of the clinical trials activity of over 77 staff within PCCS, including statisticians, programmers, trial coordinators, research facilitators and administrators.

Sarah’s extensive experience of clinical trials management, spanning over 25 years, enables her to advise on all aspects of research studies. She works closely with the Executive Management Committee in developing and achieving the strategic goals of the PC-CRTU, and participates in the business planning processes for PCCS and the School. Sarah is responsible for ensuring that the PC-CRTU’s portfolio of trials is managed according to current European and British regulatory, ethical, procedural and contractual requirements, and that appropriate records and audit trails are maintained.

Sarah is able to advise on the feasibility of trial management and administrative sections of grant applications and reports and oversees the annual budget ensuring appropriate resource allocation across the PC-CRTU.

Sarah participates in a number of regional and national working groups, including: the MidReC Management Group; the BBC CLRN Board; the European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN); the Clinical Trials (Admin) Working Group (CT(A)WG); the Birmingham Clinical Trials Executive Committee (BCCT); the Clinical Trials Oversight Committee (CTOC); and the QA & SOP writing committee.


  • MICR CSci Institute of Clinical Research 2008
  • MICR Institute of Clinical Research 1996
  • MMedSci Occupational Health 1995


Sarah Bathers joined the University of Birmingham directly after leaving school in 1982. As a library assistant in the Social Science Reading Room, she developed an interest in research and an understanding of its methods. Following her Master’s degree in Medical Science in 1995 she has worked in the Departments of Occupational Health and Cancer Studies, and the Cancer Research Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU), before joining the Primary Care Clinical Research & Trials Unit (PC-CRTU) in 2008.

At the PC-CRTU she has improved Quality Assurance and IT systems to facilitate NIHR Clinical Trials Unit registration, which was successfully gained in 2009.

At the CRCTU Sarah was instrumental in establishing the Urothelial Tumour Unit at the CRCTU. Over a five-year period, this group collected and collated the full occupational histories of all urothelial cancer patients in the West Midlands. This led to the identification of occupations with an excess of urothelial cancers, a significant step in the identification of individuals at high risk of this disease.

At the CRCTU, she held various positions including as Breast Team Leader and coordinated the National Epirubicin Adjuvant Trial (NEAT). This study included over 2000 patients and has unequivocally established a marked improvement in breast cancer survival for women treated with a block sequential epirubicin-containing regimen. She also coordinated the aTTom study for the first six years which investigated the optimal duration of tamoxifen treatment for women with breast cancer. As CRCTU Assistant Director for Operational Issues, she was at the core of all activity and staff within the unit, including overseeing a portfolio of multi-centre clinical trials in breast cancer and supportive care, playing a key role in the Unit’s Operational Management Committee, and managing individuals across the CRCTU.



Clinical Trials, Trial Management, Oncology, Breast Neoplasms, Neoplasms 

Other activities

  • Chartered Scientist of the Institute of Clinical Research
  • Member of the Institute of Clinical Research
  • Member of the Society for Clinical Trials
  • Member of the Association for the Study of Obesity
  • Member of the MidReC Management Group
  • Member of the BBC CLRN Board


NEAT: National Epirubicin Adjuvant Trial--toxicity, delivered dose intensity and quality of life Br J Cancer. 2008 Oct 21;99(8):1226-31. Epub 2008 Sep 16

Questioning specialists' attitudes to breast cancer follow-up in primary care Ann Oncol. 2007 Sep;18(9):1431-2

Epirubicin and cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil as adjuvant therapy for early breast cancer N Engl J Med. 2006 Nov 2;355(18):1920-2

Socio-economic deprivation and survival in bladder cancer BJU Int. 2004 Sep;94(4):539-43

Patterns, costs and cost-effectiveness of care in a trial of chemotherapy for advanced non-small cell lung cancer Lung Cancer. 2002 Aug;37(2):219-25

Delay and survival in bladder cancer BJU Int. 2002 Jun;89(9):868-78

Long-term risk of salvage cystectomy after radiotherapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer Eur Urol. 2000 Sep;38(3):279-86

Occupational urothelial tumours: a regional case-control study Br J Urol. 1998 Jul;82(1):25-32

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