About us


Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU) was one of the first clinical trials units to be awarded UK Clinical Research Collaboration accreditation. After 25 years of groundbreaking work, we are a renowned leader in our field, providing clinicians with scientific, technical and computing expertise to support every stage of their innovative research. What we do changes clinical practice and plays a major part in the medical treatment and health of people worldwide. 

BCTU is a large, leading clinical trials unit with a specific focus on late-phase trials


In 2016, we merged with the Primary Care Clinical Research and Trials Unit to form an enlarged trials unit within the Institute of Applied Health Research. 2018 marked our 21st anniversary year and today we employ over 130 professionals - from statisticians and programmers to those with operational, regulatory and quality assurance expertise - and we coordinate over 50 studies testing the effectiveness of a wide range of interventions. 

Our collaborations lead to clinical innovations that change lives

The scope of our work covers every disease and condition that affects every stage of life, with the exception of cancer but including surgery for cancer. We also include in our scope positive health interventions as well as treatment, in order to cover the full spectrum of disease prevention, treatment and control.

All our work has the potential to make a major, positive impact on society, both nationally and, increasingly, globally.

We are proud to collaborate with a large number of clinical investigators on groundbreaking research and warmly welcome new applications.

Our renowned research methods course has trained 1,200 trial staff

Three times a year, BCTU organises a CPD-approved course in research methods for clinical trials. Designed to provide a solid grounding in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of clinical trials, the course is always full and has so far trained over 1,200 trial staff.

Our funders

Projects run by BCTU are funded by government (eg National Institute of Health Research), major charities, or industry. 

New MSc Clinical Trials course now open

This new Masters programme will provide you with an excellent foundation in clinical trials, covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of clinical trials.

Therapeutic areas and expertise

We offer expertise in a range of therapeutic areas including:

  • Anaesthesia
  • Cardiology
  • Children
  • Coloproctology
  • Hepatology
  • Medical Devices
  • Neuroscience
  • Primary Care
  • Renal
  • Surgery
  • Trauma
  • Vascular Disease
  • Women’s Health 

Strategic partnerships

The BCTU has a number of key strategic partnerships that help to support cutting-edge clinical trials research, these include:


 Supported by National Institute for Health Research logo



This unit receives National Institute for Health Research CTU Support. This funding has been awarded to support the unit in developing NIHR trials.