Welcome to NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, Cambridge Festival 2021


If you have visited us at the guild hall before, you know that this year its very different to when you last saw us; you may have danced with us doing our diet disco? This year, we wanted to share with you how important NIHR Clinical Research Facilities have been in the last 12 months and how we responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, but also how you can get involved with research!



A day in the life of a research volunteer

In light of recent events, research has never been more important. Did you know that healthy volunteers can help in all types of research, from cancer trials to Covid-19? Find out what happens on the NIHR Clinical Research Facility as a research volunteer and how you can get involved.

Healthy volunteer research is key in helping researchers to understand conditions and how to treat them. Here on the NIHR Clinical Research Facility we perform a range of fun and exciting measurements on adults and children to compare to patient groups, such as energy expenditure, whole body x rays, MRI scans and fitness tests. Find out what happens to a research volunteer when they visit us and see how you can get involved!

For more information, click here 



Share your views

Watch our new animation we have created about Healthy Volunteer research, we would love to hear your comments by completing our short questionnaire.

Thank you





How the NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility responded to the Covid-19 pandemic?

When the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic was declared, like most people, here at NIHR Cambridge CRF we didn’t know what to expect.

Through hard work, dedication and great team work, we have recruited and carried out research all over CUH campus, giving medication to those who were admitted to hospital with Covid-19, antibody screening research and conducting Covid-19 vaccine trials to name some of our work. All with the aim, of helping to protect patients, staff and you from Covid-19.

We have created a series of short videos from our members of our team including what our volunteers, nurses, researchers, administration team, and units did during the pandemic. Click on each photo to find out their story.


Jo, NIHR Cambridge CRF Manager, introduces our CRF, how we worked pre Covid-19 and explains some of the decisions our senior management team had to make, as the first wave hit and continued through out the year.





None of our research would be possible, without people who generously give up their time to help us find out more. Hannah, tells us why she has taken part in Covid-19 research.






Anne, NIHR Cambridge CRF Team Leader, tells us how quickly her role changed when paediatric studies were put on hold, to coordinating Covid-19 research studies all whilst predominantly working from home during the first wave.

*Anne filmed herself, a facemask was not needed in this instance*





Lorinda, NIHR Cambridge CRF Paediatric Research Sister who is now leading our Covid-19 vaccine studies.







Laura, NIHR Cambridge CRF Metabolic Physiologist, explains why her research studies were paused and how she collaborated with CUH Occupational Health and NIHR Bioresource Covid -19 Research.

Dr Daniel Cooper, will be discussing this study 1 April 2021, follow this link to find out more Healthcare worker COVID follow up – Investigating antibodies to COVID-19 amongst healthcare workers | Cambridge Festival

*Laura filmed herself, a facemask was not needed in this instance*




Outreach Team, NIHR Cambridge CRF. Meet the team who are supporting Covid-19 research on the wards at CUH

1 April 2021, a 5-minute animation looking at COVID-19 clinical trials taking place at Addenbrooke’s TACTICs for fighting COVID | Cambridge Festival

Dr Frances Hall, Consultant Rheumatologist and TACTIC Chief Investigator, will share with us what researchers have learned from this pandemic – and how this may help us face similar threats. Followed by a live Q&A. Tackling COVID TACTICally! | Cambridge Festival

*some members of the Outreach Team film themselves, facemasks were not needed in this instance.


Vivien, NIHR Cambridge CRF, Team Leader tells us about rapid Covid-19 testing using a machine called SAMBA

NIHR/Wellcome Trust CRF | | Rapid Covid testing results published

*Vivien filmed herself, a facemask was not needed in this instance*




NIHR Cambridge CRF has a dedicated endoscopy suite; with bed space critical in the trust, we offered the Trust the use of our facilities and carried out 178 endoscopies, ensuring 2 week cancer wait endoscopy diagnostic service continued, watch to find out more.






Dorothee, NIHR Cambridge CRF Matron, explains what are never stop trials and how we provided a safe environment for our participants.

*Dorothee filmed herself, a facemask was not needed in this instance*






Katie, NIHR Cambridge CRF Metabolic Nutritionist, was redeployed to help set up Covid-19 staff testing pods and working in all weathers!






Karen, NIHR Cambridge CRF Research Nurse,  tells us of her experience and what PPE we wear.






Lindsay, NIHR Cambridge CRF Operations and Business Manager, explains how she managed the NIHR Cambridge CRF admin team and their role in Covid-19 research.






Sherly, NIHR Cambridge CRF Outreach Senior Sister, explains that the long term effects of Covid-19 are still unknown, and questions remain unanswered, but working with patients who were hospitalised with Covid-19; they hope to find the answers.

Below,  Mr Whittaker has shared his experience and why he is taking part in Covid-19 research.





Djamila, NIHR Cambridge CRF Bio Sample practitioner, talks to us about processing blood samples that have been collected over the past year.







There is very little information concerning the long-term effects of COVID-19. The Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID)  wants to find out more about what the ongoing medical, psychological and rehabilitation needs for this group of patients will be to enable them to make as full a recovery as possible. PHOSP-Covid research participants Mr. Colin Whittaker has kindly shared his story on Why I took part in Covid-19 Research




Did you know?

NIHR Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, supported 3 Cambridgeshire NHS trusts together for the first time: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH),  Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), we worked together offering the opportunity for healthy staff who aged between 18-55 years old, who have not been infected with coronavirus but had regular face to face contact with COVID-19 patients, to take part in the trial Oxford vaccine trial. CPFT is the only integrated physical, mental health and social care NHS Trust in the UK offering the trial to staff across the region. You can watch the BBC news report here to find out how we did it so quickly.


Carol, Nurse Manager, Translational Research Facility, shares what Professor Farooqi and her team did for colleagues working on the front line, from sourcing and providing PPE to making and delivering hot meals to those working on Covid-19 positive wards. click on the video to start the video.





Sam worked as a staff nurse on the ‘red’ Covid-19 wards during the first wave of the pandemic, moving recently to research nursing. Sam explains the differences in his experiences of nursing during a pandemic, to hear his story click here.

*Touching of PPE is for demonstration purposes only*