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The Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit (OCTRU) has integrated several trials groups from different therapeutic areas into a single Clinical Trials Unit (CTU). We are a fully registered CTU and lead and co-ordinate strategy, operations and systems across all of the trial groups. 

Our scope is to design, conduct and report trials (across all phases) in surgery, musculoskeletal sciences, rheumatology and oncology.

We focus on development pathways and the evaluation of new health technologies in:

  • surgery and interventional procedures (including anaesthetics, surgical procedures, pre- and post-surgical care)
  • trauma, rehabilitation and conservative management
  • pharmaceuticals, particularly in oncology
  • the management of inflammation
  • biomarkers to refine treatment strategies.


OCTRU has six therapeutic areas of expertise - all located in Oxford with leading researchers heading each theme.

Methodology Research

As part of OCTRU’s goal to ensure that clinical trials are designed and executed to the highest methodological and ethical standards, we participate in, and lead, methodological research of relevance to clinical trials.

This also ensures we gain and retain a position of leadership in the field, and are recognised internationally as a focus for high quality clinical trial design, conduct and reporting.

We work closely with the Centre for Statistics in Medicine (CSM), which is co-located with the Unit, where statisticians are involved in a number of clinical trials with clinicians and other health care researchers in Oxford and further afield.

CSM also carries out methodological research relating to the design, conduct and reporting of studies of diagnosis, prognosis, and clinical trials and hosts the EQUATOR initiative.

At OCTRU we collaborate with a number of world class methodologists. Individuals within the OCTRU team also play a lead role in a number of international initiatives. Read more here.

NIHR CTU Support

This unit receives National Institute for Health Research CTU Support Funding. This funding has been awarded to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR research.
National Institute for Health and Care Research logo

Collaborate with us

We welcome requests to collaborate on clinical research.  

All initial approaches should be made via email and include a completed copy of OCTRU form OF-004, which you can download here.  

A member of the senior OCTRU team will then be in touch to discuss the potential collaboration.


We have a blog covering all aspects of clinical trials - posts are made regularly by members of the unit.

Patient and Public Involvement

Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research is an important part of all OCTRU trials, as it enables high quality trials to be developed, grow and blossom.

OCTRU trials, and the researchers running them, actively involve patients and the public in their research. Most of our trials have PPI members on the project advisory / steering group and/or PPI members as co-applicants on research projects and grants.

We are always interested to hear from members of the public who would like to get involved on our OCTRU trials. If you would like to get involved please contact us on or by telephoning 01865 223469 for more information.

Related research themes