Mrs Wilma C. A. van Riel MSc, MICR, MRQA

Mrs Wilma C. A. van Riel

Medical and Dental Sciences
Head of Clinical Research Compliance

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 9050
+ 44 (0)121 414 7149
Research and Knowledge Transfer Office
Medical School
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Wilma van Riel is the University's Head of Clinical Research Compliance in the University of Birmingham.

Wilma’s main role is to set up mechanisms that will help to ensure the University maintains an appropriate level of oversight of clinical research (including clinical trials), allowing it to fulfil its role as a Sponsor or host institution. For this, she oversees the development of a quality management system to be used by University staff involved in clinical research. The system is easy to use, but nonetheless guarantees high quality and adherence to the extensive national and international regulations that govern clinical research. In addition, she oversees the University's compliance review programme, which includes on-site monitoring of clinical trials, audits of the University's Clinical Trials Units and Advanced Therapies Facility, and Sponsor Support Visits for research labs involved in clinical trials or involved in research conducted under the Human Tissue Act.

Wilma is supported by the Clinical Research Compliance Team and also works closely with staff across the University involved in clinical trials, such as senior staff members within the Clinical Trials Units and the Research Support Office.


  • Member of the British Association for Research Quality Assurance
  • Member of the Institute of Clinical Research
  • MSc Medical Biology, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands


After graduating, Wilma took up a position in clinical research because she was keen to utilise the medical knowledge she built up during her degree in order to directly impact on improving health care.

Wilma worked initially as a Clinical Research Associate for Kendle, a Contract Research Organisation, and thereafter for Janssen-Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) both in the Netherlands and in the UK. During this time she developed a keen interest in the area of ‘quality’ and the regulatory infrastructure that governs clinical trial activity.

In 2005 she moved to Birmingham to take up the position as the first Quality Assurance Manager within the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU), where she was responsible for setting up a Quality Management System and a Monitoring Team. Outside the CRCTU she was involved in national and international committees, such as European Clinical Research Infrastructures Network (ECRIN) and the MRC/DH/MHRA Risk-Stratification Sub-Group.

In 2012 Wilma moved to a University-wide Clinical Trials Quality Assurance Manager post, initially focussing on the University's CTIMP portfolio, and in the later years expanding into non-CTIMPs and any other clinical research governed by e.g. the Human Tissue Act. In January 2016 she was appointed the Head of Clinical Research Compliance.


  • MSc Toxicology