Research and knowledge exchange

Sponsorship of Research

The University works within the HRA UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research that sets out the principles of research with and in the NHS.

If you are a member of staff or a student who is undertaking research involving patients, their tissue or their data,  or the administration of a controlled substance to healthy volunteers, a sponsor will be required.

Studies are eligible either for university sponsorship (involving review via the involving review via the URGC Sponsorship Sub-Committee) or NHS sponsorship (with review via the respective NHS Trust Sponsorship committee or processes). Applications for university sponsorship are made in writing via Research Governance Officer (

The Health Research Authority (HRA) website contains useful guidance on external approval processes required once sponsorship has been granted.

When is it appropriate for the University to Sponsor?

For all research projects undertaken by a member of University of Sussex staff or student registered at the University of Sussex (including BSMS) for which no prior agreements have been established that a NHS Trust is more appropriate to sponsor.

The University is not usually able to give Sponsorship approval to Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) unless managed by a Clinical Trials Unit (CTU).

Sponsorship for other types of research

 In some instances university sponsorship will be required as a precursor to research with specific ‘gatekeeper’ procedures.

Researchers should contact at an early stage to understand what this will entail.

 What is the process for applying for University Sponsorship?