Research within the Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate
If you’re interested in doing research in organ donation, transplantation and/or retrieval, or gaining access to solid organs/tissues from deceased organ donors for research, please watch this short video which outlines the approval process.
The Research Team will provide advice on governance and the operational considerations of a study.
The Research Project Manager facilitates applications to the Research, Innovation and Novel Technologies Advisory Group (RINTAG), for their review.
RINTAG will score and rank studies requiring access to organs via the National Allocation Scheme, according to a prioritisation matrix.
The approval timeframe varies between different types of study. We are committed to keeping timescales to a minimum. In some cases, final approval will be required from the OTDT Senior Management Team (SMT).
Before a study can commence, the study’s Chief Investigator and Sponsor will be required to sign an agreement with NHSBT, which outlines their responsibilities.
Researchers with active studies are expected to complete progress reports. These are used for improvement and monitoring purposes, and to re-rank studies that receive organs through the National Allocation Scheme.
If a research study’s circumstances change (e.g. the number of organs/tissues required, planned duration or intended use), the researcher should complete a resubmission form which will be submitted to RINTAG for their approval.
Handbook and appendices
Associated links are included within the useful links list.
Research proposals are regularly reviewed by RINTAG. Upcoming submission deadlines and processes are detailed below.
Step one: External submission deadlines* 2023
Step two: ODT Research team carry out final review of study paperwork and gain operational support for proposals if required
approximately two weeks
Step three: Protocol and application form circulated to RINTAG
Step four: RINTAG read and review proposals
approximately two weeks
Step five: Responses collated and decision made
*It is expected that by this deadline researchers have already submitted an application form, draft IRAS form and their protocol to the ODT Research team and had these reviewed/approved in principle.
**Face-to-face RINTAG meeting
The Quality in Organ Donation (QUOD) initiative is a nationwide programme in the UK, funded by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) which aims to better assess quality and identify pathways of injury and repair in donor organs for transplantation.
The QUOD initiative is led by Prof Rutger J Ploeg, Professor of Transplant Biology and Consultant Transplant Surgeon and his team.
It is part of a national consortium of experts from intensive care and transplant units across the UK.
QUOD aims to reduce uncertainty over which organ is viable or not and facilitates transplant-related research by collecting blood, urine and tissue samples of appropriately consented / authorised organ donors.
These samples are then accessible by researchers across the UK and worldwide to gain better insights of the mechanisms of injury and repair to donated organs.
Through this type of translational research, it may be possible to identify biomarkers which can be used to better predict the outcomes of transplantation.
Applications for access to samples and associated data is open, visit the QUOD website for more information.