Understanding health research - MRC


Your local research office

If you are a researcher based in a university or the NHS, then your local research office can offer you additional advice and support with your research. In universities this may be your ‘research governance’, ‘research integrity’, ‘research ethics’ or ‘sponsor’s’ office or in the NHS your ‘research and development’ or an ‘R and D’ office. Find out who and where they are and contact them early. They may be in another school or college.

Your local research office can help explain any approvals that you will need for your research and put you in touch with others in your organisation who have a key role to play in reviewing and managing your research.


You may need your local research office to sponsor your research.

The role of sponsor is defined in both the UK policy framework for health and social care research and in the UK clinical trials regulations. Sponsors ensure that proper arrangements are in place to manage health research. For further guidance on the role of sponsor under the UK clinical trials regulations please visit the Clinical Trials Toolkit.

If you are a researcher funded by MRC, you can find MRC requirements for sponsorship on the following pages:

It can take time to secure a sponsor, so it’s important to identify the sponsor early in the research process. In most cases the sponsor will be a research organisation, usually the employer of the lead researcher on the study. The lead researcher must ask the research organisation to sponsor their research.

Last updated: 5 April 2022

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