Welcome to our NIHR Royal Free Clinical Research Facility

A specialist centre for world-leading early-stage and complex experimental studies

At the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Royal Free Clinical Research Facility (CRF), we provide cutting edge facilities, equipment and experienced staff to enable early-phase clinical research in healthy adults and patients with acute, complex, and long-term conditions. Our purpose-built clinical space is used to develop ground-breaking treatment for a broad range of medical conditions.

Our research

The NIHR Royal Free CRF plays a crucial role in:

  • Developing new treatments for a range of conditions, including cardiovascular, renal, and liver disease as well as rare diseases and cancer. 
  • Enabling complex studies, such as first-in-human drug trials, gene therapy and the development of novel medical devices and biomarkers.
  • Facilitating collaboration with closely linked research partners and national centres including The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, University College London (UCL), The Institute of Immunity and Transplantation (housed in the Pears Building), and The National Amyloidosis Centre (NAC) and the National Haemophilia Centre.  
  • Involving patients and the public in our research.
  • Working with our partners across the UK Clinical Research Facility Network (UKCRF Network) to share best practice and develop support tools. 
  • Ensuring equity of access to meet the needs of our diverse population 

Find out more about our work and how you can get involved:

Taking part in research 

Your doctor or nurse may suggest you participate in research and refer you to us to be considered for a research study. Alternatively, if you are interested in taking part in research but have not been approached, feel free to ask your doctor or nurse if there are any studies for which you may be eligible. Find out more about participating in research at the NIHR Royal Free CRF.

Using our facility

Our facility is located within the Royal Free Hospital with ready access to a wide range of medical expertise and close to specialised services including pathology, radiology, nuclear medicine and clinical trials pharmacy. When undertaking research at our facility, investigators can choose from different levels of support best suited to their study. More information for researchers can be found here.

How to find us

The NIHR Royal Free CRF is located on the second floor of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London. Information about how to get to us is available here.

About us

The NIHR Royal Free CRF is part of the NIHR and hosted by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The NIHR funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people's health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.

NIHR Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) support the delivery of early-phase and complex studies in purpose-built facilities in NHS hospitals. The NIHR has awarded £161 million over five years to 28 facilities across England.

The NIHR Royal Free CRF is funded from multiple sources:

  • The start-up funding for the CRF was generously enabled by the Royal Free Charity. 
  • Direct grant funding from the NIHR to support our research from 2022-27. 
  • Individual CRF research studies may receive specific funding from charitable or government grants.
  • Some CRF trials are funded by pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Fundraising for the NIHR Royal Free CRF is managed by the Royal Free Charity. If you are interested in supporting the CRF please see here.

Publications and documents

Latest news 

Royal Free Clinical Research Facility benefits from £4.9 million funding boost
Read the full story