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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office

BSMS > Research > Support and governance > Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office

Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office

The Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office (JCRO) is an exciting new initiative bringing together two universities and two local NHS Trusts, to deliver an integrated and effective approach to clinical research management and support across all four partner organisations, The four partner organisations are the University of Sussex, the University of Brighton, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

News and updates

New ARC Funding Calls – Book in for one of our Virtual Q&A sessions now!


NIHR map showing Kent Surrey and Sussex

Map of Kent, Surrey and Sussex

ARC KSS has announced two exciting new funding calls, which the JCRO will be supporting. These are:

Towards Changing Practice – ARC KSS is seeking to support innovative applied research projects focusing on implementing novel ideas with the potential to change health or social care practice for the benefit of the public, patients, service user and/or service providers. 

Individual Development – ARC KSS is accepting applications from individuals seeking support to develop applied research projects.

The deadline for expressions of interest in Towards Changing Practice and for applications to Individual Development is 5pm on Friday 30 October 2020.  Full information is available on the ARC KSS webpage below.

Visit the ARC KSS website here >

We strongly recommend that researchers seeking support for either of these calls book-in for one of our ARC Funding Virtual Q&A sessions, on 12pm-1pm Wednesday 23 September 2020, and 11am-12pm on Thursday 24 September 2020. Although we can provide help outside of these times, we do anticipate considerable interest in these calls, so if you wish to make sure your project receives the support it requires, do contact us.

For Zoom sign-in details, and to declare an interest, email

About the JCRO

Initially established for three years (2019-2021), the JCRO  functions as a 'one-stop-shop' for projects involving one of the Universities and an NHS Trust.

It brings together expertise from each partner organisation and provides practical assistance and support in the following areas: 

  • Expertise and advice in health / clinical research management (non-scientific elements) 
  • Oversight / co-ordination / project management
  • Clinical research governance advice, particularly in an NHS context 
  • Contracting advice and support, particularly in an NHS context
  • Infrastructure support: establishing standard agreements, liaising with existing support services

The four partner organisations are the University of Sussex, the University of Brighton, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  


JCRO Governance

Oversight of the JCRO is via a joint JCRO Board with representation across the partner organisations at Executive level. The Board has ongoing strategic oversight of the JCRO including its remit, and monitoring its effectiveness against a set of agreed KPIs.

Download the JRCO Governance Structure >

JCRO remit

Research management support across the project life-cycle for all clinical research, which meets all the following criteria: 

  • Research involving a PI / Co-I / CI employed by one of the partner organisations 
  • Involves one or more of the partner Universities and an NHS Trust 
  • Sponsored by an NHS Trust or one of the partner Universities 

Definition of clinical research 

Research into treatments and knowledge for better health and care for the benefit of patients, building the evidence for new approaches that are safe and effective. Studies may involve patients, volunteers and carers.

Researchers looking at a tablet

Pre-Sponsorship Review Panel

The Pre-Sponsorship Review Panel (PSRP) will review all research applications prior to the Sponsoring Partner issuing formal Sponsorship.

If you are a researcher, who is principally employed by one of The Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office's (JCRO) partner organisations:

  • University Of Sussex
  • University of Brighton
  • Brighton and Sussex Universities Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUHT)
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT)

and you intend to conduct research involving NHS Patients, their tissue or their data, or involve NHS Staff and some social care setting research, you will need to obtain what is known as sponsorship.

Sponsorship approval is required before you can submit your study for Health Research Authority (HRA) review. The Sponsor has responsibility for the oversight of all Research. The PSRP will review all research applications prior to the Sponsoring Organisation issuing formal Sponsorship. 

Find out more about PSRP here >

Meet the team

The core JCRO team comprises four dedicated staff based on the University of Sussex campus. 

They can provide professional management capability to support clinical research studies, particularly large multi-site / partner projects. Members of the team have NHS and University experience in a clinical research context, and draw on expertise from other support services.

Debbie Coton headshot

Debbie Coton, JCRO Coordinator

Zoe Boylan headshot

Zoe Boylan, JCRO Coordinator

Dave Todd headshot

Dave Todd, JCRO Administrator

Kitty Pert headshot

Kitty Pert, ARC Coordinator

In addition to the core team, the JCRO brings together a wider team drawn from existing staff across the four partner organisations, pooling and sharing their expertise to provide practical help and support through the lifetime of clinical research projects. 

The JCRO team can support a clinical research project at any point in its development and delivery, from providing advice to setting up and management of agreements, co-ordination and monitoring of partner budgets, and QA around study set-up readiness.


Contact us

If you would like to know more about how the JCRO can help you, or are interested in finding out more, please email or telephone 01273 873758.