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Chief Investigator (CI)

The Chief Investigator of a research project or clinical trial is the lead researcher.

Principle Investigators are people who are only responsible for the research that is done at their own sites.

Chief Investigators are also responsible for the overall running of a project (which may involve different sites).


Clinical research

Clinical research is any research that studies health and disease.

This includes research that studies ways to prevent, diagnose or treat diseases.


Clinical trial

A clinical trial is a type of clinical research that tests if and how a new treatment (or intervention) works in humans.

Clinical trials usually find out how effective a new treatment is by comparing against a placebo or against the treatment that is currently available. See also ‘RCT’.


Clinical Trials Unit (CTU)

Clinical Trials Units are units which have been set up to do clinical trials.

Specialists who work in these units do everything from designing trials to running them.

They also analyse and publish results. See also 'OCTRU'



Collaboration means working together.

In PPI, it means researchers, patients, the public, and other experts working together to improve research and its outcomes.



A group of people who work together with clear aims and objectives.

In research, this is likely to be overseeing and monitoring a research project.



Confidentiality means keeping patient and participant information (data) safe and private.

Researchers who use information about patients or participants must make sure that they keep this information safe.

They also have to ask for permission from the patients or participants to use their data.


Conflicts of Interest

When a person may have a financial or social reason that could help them benefit from a certain result of a situation.  

It may mean they are not unbiased or neutral.



A consultation is the act of getting information, advice, or an opinion from someone.

In research, a public consultation means asking members of the public what they think about a (possible) research project.