An incubator day is an interactive workshop, structured to drive trial development with the aim of bringing together the best researchers (chief investigator & content experts), research study methodologists (methodologists), clinical trials units staff (trial management, protocol development expertise, statisticians, data management), producing the best research trials proposals and direct them to the most likely funders.

Aims of the incubator day

  • To find out about current research evidence.
  • To explore the next steps to potential research.
  • To bring a team together to write an application / submission.
  • To seek involvement from research development experts (e.g. RDS) (link).
  • To develop the proposal with the help of a Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) (link).
  • To consider the trial management, protocol, statistics, data management.
  • To provide robust peer review of research proposal through NCRI (link).
  • To decide when and where to apply for support.
  • To seek the most appropriate funding route for the study with partners.
  • To apply for funding to appropriate funder (e.g. NIHR, CSO, Wellcome, MRC).

Critical stages are:

  1. Idea for a clinical trial – appoint a PI and discuss with content experts
  2. Literature and Systematic Review (e.g.
  3. Draft trail protocol – PICO format (Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcomes)
  4. Discuss with NCRI brain S&PC Team
  5. Complete the NCRI brain/JLA outline proposal form (attached)
  6. Return to NCRI brain S&PC Lead (
  7. NCRI brain S&PC section assess proposals and advise re: CTU and RDS links if not already involved, and
  8. NCRI feedback to Principal Investigator (PI)
  9. NCRI will assist the PI in arranging an Incubator Day.