Who Are We?

Formed in 2002, the Bristol based Clinical Trials and Evaluation Unit (CTEU) has grown from a handful of talented individuals to over forty professionals, broadly split across a number of specialist teams. The unit is hosted in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bristol.

We carry out:

•Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) and non-randomised studies to determine whether new treatments work and whether they are safe.

•Methodological research to improve the way in which we conduct RCTs and non-randomised studies.

RCTs are used to compare new treatments to existing ones, to see if they work better or as well as existing treatments. In RCTs patients are allocated randomly to the new or existing treatment, so patients and their doctors do not decide who gets which treatment.   Random allocation ensures that the groups of people in a trial are as similar as possible, except for the treatment they receive.  This allows for a fair comparison to be made between the different treatments.

Non-randomised studies can also be used to compare different treatments, but patients are not allocated randomly to the treatments (the decision is left to doctors and patients).  This means that the groups of people receiving each treatment may differ in important ways, which can directly affect the comparison between treatments.  For example, if patients receiving one treatment are less sick, they will do better regardless of the treatment they receive.  Non-randomised studies are important because sometimes we can’t test new treatments in RCTs (this may be too expensive or ethically not acceptable).  They also help to provide preliminary evidence for the efficacy of a new treatment, which can then be tested in an RCT.  These studies are also used to investigate factors associated with complications and long term outcomes after treatment

This unit receives National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) Support Funding. This funding has been awarded to support the unit in developing and supporting NIHR trials.

We may be recruiting new staff within the unit, please visit the University of Bristol job listings to view any potential vacancies.

Working With Us

If you would like to collaborate with us on a study, please complete the application form on the Bristol Research Support Partners website, choosing CTEU Bristol as the preferred partner.

Latest Headlines

The 900th patient has been randomised to the By-Band-Sleeve study by the Sunderland site. The By-Band-Sleeve study is aiming to compare the three different types of operations to find out which is most effective. The results of this study will be used to improve the information available to people considering bariatric surgery in the future, which will help with decision-making between health professionals and patients. The results will also be used to inform NHS commissioners about the most effective and cost-effective operation.


PPI work

If you are interested in finding out more, or
getting involved, with PPI work (coordinated
with the Cardiovascular Theme of the Bristol Biomedical Research Centre), then please visit
the PPI website.

Some description

Improving clinical care through research: A patient journey through the cortisol study (funded by the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Unit 2012-2017). 


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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 trials