Feasibility and staffing support

A key step before launching your study is to assess whether the research is feasible at the Trust. Firstly you will need to consider whether there are sufficient number of active service users with the particular mental health problem that you are hoping to study. Furthermore, you should assess early on whether you have support from the key clinical teams where you are hoping to recruit. Other considerations are whether you have access to the appropriate support services such as pharmacy, radiography or laboratory services.


Anyone starting a research project at the Trust must assess whether they have appropriate funding in place. All research studies should be appropriately funded to cover the costs of the research procedures and related expenses. If you are thinking of submitting an application for research grant and need help with establishing the costs, please contact r&d@cpft.nhs.uk


If your study involves several organisations, legal agreements may need to be put in place that sets our each party’s roles and responsibilities. These contracts could include:

  • A contract between the Trust as sponsor and another Trust or university. This contract typically covers indemnity, intellectual property, confidentiality, financial and termination issues.
  • A participating site agreement between the sponsor and any subsidiary sites within a multi-site study. The Trust may be the hub of a large study or a spoke in someone else's study.
  • A tissue transfer agreement if tissue from the Trust's patients is to be sent to another organisation for research.

Early identification of what is required will avoid possible delay. 

Please contact the R&D office for advice.

E r&d@cpft.nhs.uk

Protocol and peer review

All research studies need a protocol describing how the research will be conducted. The protocol describes the research question: hypothesis, objectives, primary outcome and if applicable secondary outcomes, justifies the importance, and the methodology of how it will be answered. The study will be monitored by the Trust and external agencies in accordance with what is involved in the research project and its scope.

Protocols are part of the submissions to the research ethics committees, the R&D department, and any other relevant agency. For further guidance about writing your protocol please contact the R&D office or the Research Design Service for the East of England.

Service user and carer involvement

Not only do service users have a right to be involved in the design of research, their involvement can help improve the acceptability and effectiveness of a project. 

CPFT R&D office can provide advice and support to researchers who want to work in partnership with service users and carers in their research project.  We can advise you about how best to involve people with experience of mental health issues in your project.  We can also link you with service users and carers who are willing to get involved in research projects and share their knowledge and expertise to make research studies more relevant and realistic.

We want to make sure that service users and carers are involved in our research in a way that is meaningful and effective.  In order to achieve this, service users and carers need to be involved at an early stage, when research topics are identified, grant applications are developed and decisions are being made.  This is when service user involvement can have the greatest impact.

Please contact Iliana Rokkou (iliana.rokkou@cpft.nhs.uk) to discuss how you can involve service users and carers in the design and implementation of your project.  


In general, research that is taking place in the NHS will be covered by the NHS Indemnity Scheme. If an academic institution is also leading on the study, separate arrangements will need to take made to insure the design of the study’s protocol. For more information, please contact the University Insurance Office.

NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio 

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) can provide a range of services for research studies taking place at the Trust, including:

  • Running the Co-ordinated System for Permissions (CSP): CSP is a online management system that helps R&D offices in England to co-ordinate the approval of studies.
  • Financial support for studies: If adopted to the portfolio, your study may be eligible for financial support.
  • Access to research nurses and clinical studies officers employed by the NHS to help implement the research
  • Assistance with recruitment in terms of practical suggestions and support

Please contact the R&D office to find out if your study is potentially eligible for the NIHR CRN support via adoption to the NIHR portfolio. Click here to view portfolio studies https://www.nihr.ac.uk/nihr-in-your-area/mental-health/ 

View the benefits of NIHR CRN portfolio adoption below:

The page was last updated on 23 July 2019 by lmarshall.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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