Improving people’s health is at the heart of our mission
All of our research is driven by our mission to improve health and wellbeing for people around the world. It has people at its heart, whether patients, carers, healthcare workers or individuals seeking to safeguard their health and that of those around them.
Much of our research is intrinsically dependent on the time and dedication of volunteers who choose to participate in our studies and trials. In the majority of cases, the University has formal responsibility for the trial, as Sponsor. We have five registered Clinical Trials Units that ensure the clinical trials that we sponsor meet regulatory standards of independence and rigour. In turn this underpins adoption of new standards and treatments. We have approximately 1,000 studies or trials active at any time.
We have pioneered new approaches to clinical trials to make them faster, easier to join, more responsive (e.g. the RECOVERY trial for treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalised patients) or open to participation from home (e.g. PRINCIPLE, also for COVID-19). Our Trials Tracker initiative has produced a wide range of tools and initiatives to monitor and improve clinical trial reporting internationally. We lead internationally-distinctive biobank studies (e.g. UK Biobank) to allow the widest research to benefit from the commitment and generosity of participating volunteers.
We have very strong links with our local NHS Trusts, the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUHFT) and Oxford Health (OH), ensuring we always have in mind the experiences of patients needing care. Our research benefits greatly from many of our researchers also being practising clinicians in fields ranging from primary care to acute interventions, and from orthopaedics to neurology. Our two NIHR Biomedical Research Centres - with OUHFT and OH - are national hubs for collaborative research. We are proud to train the next generation through our clinical academic graduate school.
We also work with researchers across the world to improve global health. We are the UK partners in three of Wellcome’s five Asia and Africa Programmes, in Thailand, Vietnam and Kenya, supporting and learning from our colleagues in local centres of excellence. The Global Health Network works globally to build local capabilities for research. Our new Pandemic Sciences Institute is working to identify and counter future pandemic threats.
Supporting patients to make choices about their healthcare, whether for means of communication or type of treatment, is important to all our clinical researchers and colleagues. Recent projects have included the Vaccine Knowledge Project, work to assess and explain the different choices for treating prostate and breast cancer, and improvements to remote consultations.
Our research is most successful when it is closely informed by the needs of those who might benefit from it and is undertaken by researchers who are well supported in their working environment. We continue to enhance our approaches to Patient and Public Involvement, to improving research culture, and to making our research ‘open access’, available to all to read.
Projects highlighted here are just a few of the thousands active at any time. Our published research can be searched at the Oxford Research Archive, at PubMed or via case studies of its impact. Our 16 departments together provide specialist support and facilities for our research.