Man running on treadmill

Clinical trials

Leading the way in clinical trial research
We are innovating to improve health outcomes through clinical trial research, training and education.

Clinical trials are an essential part of a high quality, modern healthcare system and an important step in developing new treatments to improve human health.

At the University of Sydney, we have over 500 clinical trials in progress at any one time, with around 100 new trials starting each year.

Most of our clinical trials take place in medicine and health sciences, including cancer research, medicinal cannabis therapy, mental health services, research into neurodegenerative disease, healthy ageing and exciting biomedical engineering applications.

We also conduct clinical trials in the psychological sciences, including important work on pain management, addiction and the psychological impacts of physical disease.

Research with us

Trials conducted at the University of Sydney benefit from the world class clinical facilities, the clinical expertise in our affiliated hospitals and clinics, connections with health service providers and medical research institutes, including local health districts, and access to a large and diverse patient base. Our experts in biostatistics, health economics, integrating evidence and translational research are also here to support clinical trials.

Our start-up and governance support services for clinical trial researchers include contract development, ethics review, governance review, risk assessment, provision of clinical trial insurance for trials sponsored by the University, review of data management plans and review of REDCap projects to ensure compliance with ICH GCP requirements.

Our Clinical Trials Support Office provides training and support for our researchers, including risk assessments and site-specific assessments, providing advice on risk mitigation, and guidance on how to collect, store and manage data when conducting a clinical trial.

The University receives and administers significant funding for clinical trials through a combination of competitive funding programs, commercial and donor sources. Our specialist teams can help you secure competitive national funding, including NHMRC and ARC funding, and provide you with the backing to test new ideas, find new collaborators and scale the impact of your work. Learn more about funding support available to you.

We have several internal fellowships and grants to seed new initiatives and partnerships, allowing researchers to push the bounds of their discipline. 

We can help you develop the skills and strategies you need to continue your clinical research success and progress your academic career. We offer advice, access to systems and training in areas such as writing successful grant applications, developing funding strategies, publishing and communicating your research, and leadership.

The Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) prizes are awarded to early and mid-career researchers among University of Sydney staff. They aim to recognise and develop our most talented researchers and to establish a cohort of future research leaders for Sydney.

We welcome clinical research partnerships with industry leaders in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and device development. We connect our leading researchers and students with industry, business and government partners. We have both the experts and facilities to accommodate your clinical trial research needs.

The University of Sydney’s core research facilities provide access to high-end research infrastructure and offer a range of related services to assist researchers with specialist applications.

  • Sydney Imaging has a comprehensive suite of preclinical and clinical imaging modalities, a state-of-the-art hybrid theatre, and world-class technical expertise.
  • Sydney Cytometry provides access to and training in cytometry and cell sorting techniques to help with clinical diagnostics in cancer and other health disorders.
  • Sydney Informatics Hub provides support, training and expertise in research data management, statistics, data science, software engineering, simulation, visualisation, bioinformatics, and research computing.
Physiotherapy students doing testing

Participating in clinical trials

There are hundreds of clinical trials taking place throughout Australia covering a range of diseases and conditions. Often the best way to find out about clinical trials that may be suitable for you is to discuss it with your doctor.

We have a directory of our research studies, which includes some clinical trials and other health studies, such as online surveys. Our Save Sight Institute also lists clinical trials related to eye health.

In addition, the following websites have searchable lists of clinical trials looking for participants:

Clinical trials are a type of medical research where people volunteer to try treatments or tests used to prevent, detect, treat or manage various health conditions.

Clinical trials are important for the development of new treatments for diseases, as well as new ways to detect, diagnose, and reduce the chance of developing the disease. Clinical trial results provide data on the safety and effectiveness of tests and treatments being studied, influencing health outcomes through changes to health policy and health practice.

Clinical trials must be conducted in accordance with strict rules and ethical considerations developed to ensure participant safety and integrity of the trial results. The Australian Government’s Australian Clinical Trials site has more information available. 


Participants needed

Do you have knee osteoarthritis?

We're looking for adults over 40 living in Sydney or Hobart for a trial investigating whether stem cell injections can improve knee osteoarthritis symptoms.

Donate to clinical research

Donations through our philanthropic program have provided much needed support for important clinical trials that benefit patients in Australia and worldwide.

Some of our donors are inspired to fund clinical research that’s meaningful to them, while others were happy to let the University recommend where funds are most needed. Read more about areas to support, or contact our donor support team to help you decide.

Below are some of the projects funded by our generous donors:

  • The Lambert Initiative is an Australian first in the field of medicinal cannabinoids, targeting a range of conditions including paediatric epilepsy, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, neurological, and mental health disorders.
  • Researchers are trialling lung function testing technology that could save lives by warning asthma sufferers of imminent flare-ups.
  • The University is leading a nationwide clinical trial investigating a drug which could help stop the progression of motor neurone disease.
  • A team of University researchers and clinical affiliates are reprogramming the immune cells of cancer patients to hunt down and destroy advanced pancreatic and related cancers.

Study with us

Build your career in clinical trials research with one of our postgraduate courses.

The NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre has additional clinical trial education opportunities, including postgraduate studies in biostatistics, masterclasses and scholarships for higher degree research students.

Higher degree by research

Higher degree by research (HDR) students can gain clinical trial experience as part of a master’s or PhD. Most clinical trial opportunities are in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, though clinical trials are also conducted in psychology.

Learn how to apply for postgraduate research.

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