Clinical Research Facility (CIRU)

At the Royal Sussex County Hospital, we are fortunate to have one of only 19 CRFs in the UK.

Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) provide dedicated departments and expert staff to deliver high intensity experimental research, and mean that patients are more likely to be offered the opportunity to participate in clinical trials.

Our CRF is designed to enhance opportunities for research, by providing the necessary space, equipment and expertise, alongside the infrastructure and support services that an NHS hospital offers. This enables research into novel interventions or treatments to be feasible and safe.

At any one time the CRF hosts over 100 research projects. We manage a diverse portfolio of academic and commercial research, with our overarching remit being to support the delivery of early-phase clinical trials and other novel interventions. Research taking place in the Brighton CRF focuses on understanding the causes of human disease and the effects of new treatments, tests and devices. Our team of expert researchers administer medication, treatments and conduct tests while supporting patients throughout their involvement in medical research.

Since opening in 2007, Brighton CRF has developed and fine-tuned systems and processes that result in the delivery of a first class clinical research service to research participants and users of the facility.

“Brighton CRF has a reputation of high quality data management processes”Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization 

“The research nurses and Doctors spent time explaining everything that was going to happen to me in the trial, I felt very safe and fully informed. Everyone in Brighton CRF is so friendly and kind”Phase 1 Clinical Trial participant

Brighton CRF sets out to:

  • Attract early stage (experimental) research to Brighton, to increase patient access to studies involving novel therapies or interventions, and to expand and strengthen our portfolio.
  • Provide an excellent quality of care and service to all of our patients and users.
  • Work with our partners in business, the Department of Health and the general public to bring new and effective health innovations to the NHS as quickly as possible.
  • Deliver an efficient service, with robust processes, co-ordinated by staff with clinical and research expertise.

Clinic rooms

The rooms are equipped with clinical monitoring equipment and are used to care for research participants during clinical interventions and for research consultations.

Physiology suite

A clinical area equipped with ultrasound, echocardiogram (ECHO), electrocardiogram (ECG), and vascular compliance measuring equipment, as well as body composition analysis scales and a tilt table to assess autonomic function.

Treatment/phlebotomy suite

A clinical area furnished with reclining chairs, to ensure research participants are comfortable during long treatments such as intravenous chemotherapy administration. This room has a dedicated blood sampling/phlebotomy area.

Research laboratory

Our dedicated research laboratory supports rapid blood and tissue processing, testing and archiving. The laboratory has several -80C freezers that are temperature monitored 24/7.

DEXA scanner (Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry)

The DEXA scanner is used to measure bone density, and mainly supports our cancer and HIV research.

Meeting rooms

The facility has rooms suitable for small meetings and a Seminar room with the capacity to accommodate 30 people.

Overnight research visits

The CRF can accommodate overnight research visits.

Clinical staff support

The CRF has a highly-skilled clinical research workforce consisting of nurses, medical staff, research practitioners, laboratory staff, data managers and administrators, who support Principle Investigators (PIs) to deliver studies in a timely and safe manner.
Our Research Nurses and Research Practitioners work in teams supporting various clinical specialities. They work closely with our PIs to oversee screening, recruitment, scheduling, administration of treatment and work closely with the Data Managers to ensure data collection and reporting is managed well.

Our Clinical Research Facility (often called CIRU) is located on Level 10 of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton, BN2 5BE.

Phone: 01273 664437 (or dial extension 4437 / 3522)


Fax: 01273 664855