Oxford Brain Health Clinical Trials Unit

Oxford Brain Health Clinical Trials Unit

Oxford Brain Health Clinical Trials unit aims to generate and disseminate robust research evidence from observational and randomised controlled trials that leads to improvements in clinical practices.  Running a trial via the Oxford Brain Health Trials Unit (OBHCTU) helps with securing funding and developing a robust design to deliver a successful study.  The Oxford Brain Health Trials Unit (OBHCTU) has an important role in supporting mental health and dementia focused trials.

OBHCTU will consider studies from investigators and sponsors, internal and external to University of Oxford, non-commercial and commercial at any phase. We provide support at all levels of the developmental cycle including:

  • Clinical trials or other studies part of a fellowship or a specific program
  • Pilot and/or feasibility studies that includes a strategy to develop a long-term project
  • Early phase trials including First in Human
  • Doctoral/PhD projects associated with clinical trials and/or standalone research studies
  • Methodological projects including Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses
  • Complex or high-risk studies in licenced and/or unlicensed drugs, medical devices and/or medical technologies

Dr Vanessa Raymont, Director of the Oxford Brain Health Clinical Trials Unit


"The Oxford Brain Health Clinical Trials Unit was established in 2019 to primarily support the delivery of high quality clinical trials in psychiatry and cognitive sciences, although we welcome all types of research from various disciplines. In doing so, OBHCTU has become the only CTU dedicated to mental health. We are also one of the very few CTUs in Oxford working within the ISO compliant operational systems. 

As researchers we have all had to adapt to new ways of working over the last few months and have also had to review our research priorities in these challenging times. Research in mental health and psychiatry in particular can have specific challenges, particularly in terms of recruitment, the running of studies and interpreting research data, so we hope we can help support all of our efforts in this complex field.

The scope of psychiatry therapeutic interventions have grown massively in the last few decades, thanks to clinical trials. Additionally, there is a greater understanding of the need for generalizability, as the diversity of patients within clinical practice are not always mirrored by those enrolled in clinical trials. This emphasis has generated more large scale, stratified, sequential parallel, adaptive and innovative trial designs. As a CTU, we hope to support, collaborate and partner with researchers to mitigate the problems running and interpreting such complex clinical trials in Investigational Medicinal Products, Medical Technologies, Medical Devices and Non-interventions to ultimately translate into clinical services "