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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office

Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office

Welcome to the Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office (JCRO).

  • Established in 2019, the JCRO is a partnership between the University of Sussex, the University of Brighton, University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • The Joint Clinical Research Office functions as a 'one-stop-shop' for clinical research studies. Studies must involve one of the partner Universities and an NHS Trust.
  • The JCRO provides clinical research support across the project lifecycle, from grant application to study completion. 
  • In collaboration with our partners, we manage and co-chair the Pre-Sponsorship Review Panel to support the development of high-quality sponsorship applications.
  • We also support the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration, Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS). 

About the JCRO

The Joint Clinical Research Office functions as a 'one-stop-shop' for clinical research studies involving one of the partner Universities and an NHS Trust.

The JCRO brings together expertise across partner organisations and provides practical support, management and advice across the clinical research lifecycle.
The four partner organisations are:

  • University of Brighton
  • University of Sussex
  • Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (formerly Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust). 

We work closely with Brighton and Sussex CTU, the Research Design Service (South-East) and CRN Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We also support the Applied Research Collaboration, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 

Oversight of the JCRO is via the 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.

Project Management Group
The day-to-day operation of the JCRO is steered by a project management group, composed of JCRO staff and representatives from all our partners.

Please email regarding possible JCRO support for your study and one of our team will get back to you.

For University of Sussex researchers who are submitting a grant application, please attach the completed School Grant Application Proforma.

Download proformas here >

News and events

Brighton and Sussex JCRO confirmed as integrated element of BSMS clinical infrastructure

Since its formation in February 2019, Brighton and Sussex Joint Clinical Research Office (JCRO) has provided specialised research support for clinicians and academics working with the NHS.  As a joint office governed by both local universities and two local NHS trusts, the JCRO has been instrumental in bringing partners together to establish successful joint practices. The tangible benefits of the JCRO can be seen in increased grant submissions, as well as in successful applications, over the last 3 years of its existence.

Just as significantly, the JCRO has increased the confidence of academics working with the NHS, inspiring them to apply for complex and broader-reaching projects, knowing the JCRO is there to help them. The JCRO has also provided invaluable guidance on the set-up of awarded projects, with such elements as HRA approval, contracting, and signposting to sponsorship, and also developed  the Pre-Sponsorship Review Panel, pooling knowledge and experience from all partners to improve the quality of projects seeking sponsorship.

In the film below, the partners and the researchers who have worked with JCRO reflect on the positive changes brought about since its inception.

The success of this work has now led to the BSMS recognising the JCRO as a vital component of local clinical research infrastructure, and as such an integral part of its Joint Board’s five year plan.

Professor Malcolm Reed, Dean of BSMS, said: “BSMS is committed to putting clinical research at the heart of its future, working towards establishing Brighton and Sussex as a centre of excellence nationally.  I have been delighted to see the advances the JCRO has made in fostering good research and integrating key regional stakeholders towards this aim, and look forward to working alongside them in all our future endeavours."

Tanya Telling, Head of JCRO, said “It has been a joy to be involved in the development of the JCRO over the last 3 years and to see the progress made in partnership working to enable improved support for those wishing to research in the NHS. There is enormous potential going forward for continued improvements and innovations that will mean clinicians and academics working across our partner organisations are in a better position to apply for more and larger grant application with a higher chance of success. I encourage you to get in touch with us today if you have ideas for clinical research and we will work with you to develop your proposal.”

More information can be found on the website below or by emailing

There are research funding opportunities now available from the NIHR, via the Research for Patient Benefit initiative and the Applied Research Collaboration.

Read more here >


What do we support?

The JCRO supports clinical research* studies where the Chief, Principle or Co-Investigator are employed by one of the partner organisations and where the project involves NHS resources (e.g. NHS patients, data, staff or resources). We also support some social care setting research.

*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.

Why might we not be able to help? 

  • Unfortunately, we can’t currently support student applications, but we can signpost students to the relevant contacts in their own institutions or other available support mechanisms
  • You may not yet be ready to make a grant application. If this is the case, we can signpost you to the RDS and other contacts to develop your application.

Please contact us about possible JCRO support:

How we can help

The JCRO provides research management support and advice across the project life-cycle. 

Read more here >


Current studies and feedback

Find out about some of the studies currently supported by the JCRO.

Feedback we've had from researchers includes: 

  • “I really wondered what the JCRO would offer as there are so many different processes, but they added essential skills and different components to the grant application process”
  • “The professional and responsive JCRO support has my research activities enjoyable and very productive. I felt supported 100% by their excellent team”
  • “I have found them really helpful in sorting out contracts with collaborators”
  • “The JCRO were on hand to deal with liaising between ourselves and our funders and provided a lot of assistance with the service level agreement”
  • “I applied for 2 major grants during covid. Each stage was clarified for me and the processes streamlined and guidance was excellent. I am now planning my next venture with much more confidence.”

Read more here > 

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
  • University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UH Sussex)
  • 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 >



The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is the nation’s largest funder of health and care research. Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.

The NIHR ARC Kent Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) is one of 15 ARCs across England, part of a £135 million investment by the NIHR to improve the health and care of patients and the public. Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the host Trust for the ARC KSS working collaboratively with the Universities of Kent, Surrey and Sussex and member organisations to deliver its objectives.

The JCRO is working closely with ARC KSS to promote and grow research initiatives in the area. In 2020 we supported 30 ARC funding applications to four rounds of ARC funding calls, including two Covid-19 Rapid Response calls in Spring 2020 and Individual Development and Towards Changing Practice funding calls in October 2020. Of the 30 applications, 10 have been fully funded and a further 9 proceeded through to second stage applications, with outcomes expected in Spring 2021.  

The JCRO are also working particularly closely with the four ARC themes hosted by University of Sussex, whose work is supported within JCRO by our ARC Coordinator Kitty Pert.

For more information visit the website below.


Meet the team

The core JCRO team comprises five dedicated staff based on the University of Sussex campus. Members of the team have NHS and University experience in a clinical research context, and draw on expertise from other support services. 

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.  

Tanya Telling headshot

Tanya Telling, Head of JCRO

Debbie Coton headshot

Debbie Coton, Project Manager

Zoe Boylan headshot

Zoe Boylan, Project Manager

Dave Todd headshot

Dave Todd, HRP Coordinator

An image of a woman with pink hair and a striped top looking in to the camera

Kitty Pert, ARC Assistant Project Manager


Contact us

Please email regarding possible JCRO support for your study and one of our team will get back to you.

For University of Sussex researchers who are submitting a grant application, please attach the completed School Grant Application Proforma.