The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leeds Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust in collaboration with the University of Leeds.

Leeds is England’s third largest city with a local population of ~760,000; the wider Leeds city region (population 2.95M) is a microcosm of the country in terms of diversity, geography and multi-morbidities. Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust provides regional and supra-regional services for ~5.4M people and recruited 17,438 patients into NIHR portfolio clinical trials in 2019-20 (6th nationally). The University of Leeds is a top 10 UK university in terms of its research power (Research Excellence Framework, 2014), and a top 100 world-ranked university (QS world rankings). Over 80% of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust/University of Leeds collaborations are research rated “world leading” or “internationally excellent” (CWTS bibliometrics).

The NIHR Leeds CRF carries out high quality early stage and experimental clinical trials to help new treatments and tests reach patients more quickly. The NIHR Leeds CRF consists of the CRF Core (senior management and administrative staff) at the Research and Innovation Centre based at St James’s Hospital and two CRF sites:

St James’s Hospital CRF (SJUH CRF): Our largest facility delivering high quality experimental medicine research, including first-in-human trials in oncology, haematology and immunology.

Leeds General Infirmary CRF (LGI CRF): specialist focus on people with cardiovascular diseases, located within the Yorkshire Heart Centre.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust has two additional CRFs that collaborate with the NIHR LCRF Core but do not currently deliver trials as part of the wider NIHR LCRF. The Leeds Children’s Hospital CRF (LCH CRF) is a purpose built, age-appropriate facility supporting delivery of paediatric experimental medicine research in a comprehensive range of illnesses, from antenatal conditions through to adult variants of childhood diseases. The Dental Translational and Clinical Research Unit (DenTCRU) CRF is a purpose built, self-contained, state-of-the-art dental CRF co-located on the LGI campus (as part of the University of Leeds Dental Hospital). Finally, theChapel Allerton CRF (CAH CRF) is under construction and will open in Spring 2022 to support clinical and translational research on the CAH site including musculoskeletal and dermatology research.

Core funding for the NIHR Leeds CRF supports trial delivery at the SJUH and LGI CRFs; we also work with industry, research councils and charities to run over 100 early stage, experimental or complex clinical trials at any one time.

We provide a welcoming, professional and safe environment for patients taking part in our trials, fully supported by clinical services within Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust including world class imaging, pathology, radiotherapy and informatics/artificial intelligence.

  • Patients and the wider public play a key role in our research, not only as participants, but also helping us in shaping the direction of our work and in the design of research initiated in Leeds. We have particular expertise and a strong track-record in the following areas:

Cardiovascular research: heart failure and coronary disease, 
Musculoskeletal research: conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism,
Oncology research: cancers that involve solid tumour, 
Haematology research:  including cancers of the blood, 
Oral & Dentalfull range of research within oral and dental health,
Paediatricstreats a comprehensive range of illnesses including Cardiovascular disease.

Experimental medicine and translational research in Leeds includes a wide range of disease specialties, including research in paediatrics, neuroscience, diabetes and gastroenterology, with trials delivered either through the NIHR Leeds CRF sites or the other non-NIHR Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust CRFs. Wherever possible, trials are delivered on a CRF co-located with the relevant clinical services.

We conduct trials of

  • Novel drugs, medicines and vaccines
  • Cell based and viral therapies
  • Innovative technologies and devices

Leeds Clinical Research Facility logo outlined RGB COL


With our experienced team and excellent facilities, we have the skills and capacity to run all types of high-quality complex trials across the majority of disease areas. We are part of a world class medical and clinical research base at one of the largest NHS Trusts in the country, which provides specialist care to over five million people.


Our welcoming, high-spec in-patient and out-patient units, dedicated for clinical trials, incorporate state-of-the-art equipment, particularly in imaging and diagnostics, and are located close to specialised research laboratories and nearby clinical services.


Research with the CRF mainly focuses on the early stages of testing new treatments, new techniques or new medical devices, to enable patients to benefit from these advances as quickly as possible. We also run later stage trials, where these require the use of complex or experimental techniques, procedures and monitoring.