ECRAG meeting update

Primary care trials unit: Professor David Fitzmaurice

david talk

This was a very special meeting as it marked the one year anniversary of the newly reformed ECRAG. We are very proud of how the group has progressed over the last year and celebrated with cake! With winter fast approaching, the festive season was on our mind and we shared our favourite things about this season from having a break from teaching to last minute shopping on Christmas Eve and a log cabin break!


This meeting we were privileged to have Professor David Fitzmaurice, head of the Primary Care Clinical Research and Trials Unit (PC-CRTU), join us. David gave an insightful talk on “Everything you need to know about the PC-CRTU”. The PC-CRTU is one of 3 trials units at the University; the other 2 being Cancer Trials Unit (everything cancer-related) and Birmingham Trials Unit (focus on secondary care studies).

davud talk pccrtu

Firstly to put it in perspective, it is important to understand the structure of the department; Primary Care Clinical Science falls within HaPS (Health and Population Sciences) and comprised of Research Teams and Teaching Teams. PC-CRTU includes the trials unit, research network and research themes (see below):

PC CRTU structure

The aim of the trials unit is to offer a fully managed service which will deliver your study to a high standard. The trials unit can also facilitate with PPI (patient, participant involvement) and developing research ideas. Although primary care is at the centre of this trial unit, they are also expending beyond this setting into the community (such as care homes). So where do early career researchers fit into all of this… David made clear that early career researchers are essential to the trials unit whether you’re part of a big programme/grant or have managed to secure your own funding; Research for Patient Benefit is a good place to start for small grants. Early career researchers can still be named as PI as long as they show they have good support on the grant. For more information on the PC-CRTU, check out their website:


Don’t forget, next month we will be hosting our very first ECRAG Christmas party… see you there. 


Grace Moran



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