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 and specific social care settings.


** GUIDELINES HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED ON CHANGES AND AMENDMENTS TO RESEARCH STUDIES AFFECTED BY THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK INCLUDING SPONSORED STUDIES- LAST UPDATED JUNE 2020**

If you are a member of staff or a student who is undertaking research involving NHS patients, their tissue or their data, NHS staff, specific social care settings 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 to the Sponsorship Sub-Committee (SSC) via the Research Governance Officer  (researchsponsorship@sussex.ac.uk).*

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).

All researchers who have been granted University Sponsorship are required to agree to follow the University's Conditions of Sponsorship Agreement.

'Sponsorship' for other types of research (outside of the  UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care)

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

Researchers should contact researchsponsorship@sussex.ac.uk at an early stage to understand what this will entail.

 What is the process for applying for University Sponsorship?

*The Sponsorship Sub-Committee gives formal oversight to all forms of sponsored research

  • new sponsorship applications
  • amendment requests
  • protocol deviations
  • SAEs
  • reports to NHS RECs etc

Researchers wishing to apply for sponsorship or submitting amendments should ensure they check the meeting and submission dates of the Sub-Committee in good time to plan their research activity

 Research Passports

General information about the NHS Research Passport system is available from the NIHR website.