Our Clinical Trials Units

Our core infrastructure of seven UK Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) delivers innovative and practice-changing clinical research that impacts the care and outcomes for cancer patients in the UK and across the world.

CTUs are specialist units with a specific remit to design, conduct, analyse and publish clinical trials. Our network of CTU provide expert statistical, epidemiological and other methodological advice and they centrally coordinate the delivery of multi-centre trials. Our CTUs are also responsible for ensuring that trials are conducted in compliance with the UK regulations governing the conduct of clinical trials and report to all the appropriate agencies, including the Health Research Authority and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

We fund seven CTUs, which are all within the Clinical Research Committee Portfolio, focusing on a range of early and late-phase clinical trials with clinical or biological endpoints. Cancer Research UK also funds the Centre for Drug Development which is a fully integrated early phase drug development unit.

CTU network objectives

Our network is guided by the strategic priorities set out in our Clinical Research Statement of Intent. The CTUs have shared scientific and operational objectives which align with this statement and we support them to deliver these objectives.

Opportunities to work with our CTUs

Our CTUs hold UKCRC CTU registration. This allows them to collaborate, network, and share expertise with other cancer and non-cancer trial units and to work together to develop best practices and overcome common challenges.

Our CTUs are always interested in hearing from academics and clinicians who have an idea for a cancer clinical trial and would like to work with them to develop it. If you are interested in developing a clinical trial with us, you should approach individual CTUs or research groups from the list below.

Directory of Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Units


Explore our Clinical Trials Units by geographical location.

Review & funding periods

At the end of the 5-year funding cycle, an independent, international panel is assembled to assess the performance of each CTU, applications from potential new CTUs, and the network as a whole. The current 5-year funding period began in October 2023. Each CTU is also evaluated against its objectives annually, to determine continued funding.

Clinical Trial Fellowship

Our Clinical Trial Fellowship award supports clinicians with an interest in clinical trials and who would benefit from further training within a Clinical Trial Unit. Fellows receive up to three years of training, with funding to cover salary, running expenses and equipment.

More clinical research opportunities

We support a broad portfolio of clinical and translational research through response mode funding, partnership initiatives and investments in clinical infrastructure.

More research infrastructure

We fund a network of state-of-the-art facilities at more than 80 institutions across the UK. From basic science and drug discovery to experimental medicine and clinical trials, our infrastructure enables research throughout the pipeline.