Plan your sites

It is vital to the success of your project that you consider at an early stage how and where participants will be identified, recruited and participate in your project. You will need to consider whether:

  • the organisations can identify a suitable number of potential participants
  • the staff have the relevant skills, expertise and time
  • the organisations have appropriate equipment and facilities

Different organisations can be involved in different parts of the project. You may need to conduct the research at sites with access to particular equipment or skills. You should consider whether such sites will be able to identify the required number of participants meeting your eligibility criteria, or whether you should work with other organisations to identify potential participants. You may want to consider using Participant Identification Centres [internal link].

NHS sites

The clinical research networks [internal link] may be able to assist you in identifying suitable NHS sites if your study meets the criteria for using their support. You can also assess the suitability of NHS sites using their Operational Capability Statements [external link].

The Chief Investigator or sponsor should approach local research teams to discuss interest in participating in a study, and liaise with the R&D office at an early stage to discuss the necessary arrangements for setting up and conducting the study. Each NHS organisation will need to confirm its agreement to participate in the study. The Chief Investigator or sponsor should ensure that local Principal Investigators and any other relevant staff are provided with any necessary information and documentation they may need to set up the study and confirm management permission.

Non-NHS sites

Separate sections of this site provide information about processes for non-NHS sites and Site Specific Assessments [internal link]of these sites.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the sponsor and Chief Investigator to ensure that local research teams have all the relevant documents to conduct the study, including the current version of the protocol.


Adding new research sites

For guidance on adding new research sites to a project after approvals have been given please see the Resources [internal link].