Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU)

Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit logo

The Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit (BCTU) is a leading national clinical trials unit specialising in the design, conduct and analysis of definitive clinical trials and test evaluation studies. BCTU, under the Directorship of Prof Peter Brocklehurst, sits within the Institute of Applied Health Research at BHP founder member the University of Birmingham.

BCTU stats

Established in 1997, BCTU has evolved to become one of the largest CTUs in the UK, undertaking high quality late phase clinical trials, and diagnostic and test evaluation studies across a wide range of disease areas in both the primary and secondary care settings. BCTU now employs over 110 staff, coordinating approximately 60 studies (with a current research grant budget of circa £40 million).

BCTU is registered with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, and is renowned for its experience in co-ordinating multi-centre clinical trials, the presence of expert staff and robust quality assurance systems, and evidence of long-term viability of capacity for trial co-ordination.

Our aim is to help stimulate, develop, conduct, support, analyse and report high quality clinical research to generate more reliable evidence on the causes and best treatment of a wide range of diseases. To achieve this, we are backed by a strong track record in co-ordinating cutting-edge clinical trials from initiation through to completion.

Our principal function is to provide specialist input into all stages of academic clinical trial development from design to publication by collaborating with a large number of clinical investigators at a local, national and international level.

We receive funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials.

BCTU provides a support and advice service to prospective clinical researchers (doctors, nurses or professions allied to medicine) covering all aspects of study design, management and analysis. 

We offer investigators help to work up their ideas or pilot studies into full-scale projects, advice on study design and methodology, advice and help with grant applications and help with literature searches.  Advice is available from an expert multi-disciplinary team on the best study management and methodology.

      • Systematic literature review and meta-analysis
      • Trial design, including appropriate sample size
      • Protocol development and case report form design
      • Research costs and funding applications
      • Establishing collaborative networks of investigators
      • Gaining ethical and regulatory approval
      • Randomisation procedures
      • Strategies for patient recruitment
      • Trial co-ordination and data management
      • Research governance and quality assurance procedures
      • Database design and computerised trial management software
      • Incorporation of health economics and quality of life measures
      • Independent data monitoring
      • Statistical analysis and reporting
      • Training courses, workshops and seminars

The Primary Care Trials team has links across the region and throughout the UK with access to more than 3000 GPs, in almost 700 practices across England and Wales, covering an estimated patient population of over four million. The team works closely with the Clinical Research Network: West Midlands (CRN-WM).