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Apply for research approval

Research Within the Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate

Please click on the link below to view a summary of the research approval process:


Research and Development remains an integral part of the activities of ODT and is in line with NHSBT's strategy for research and development.

This site is designed to assist the prospective researcher seeking support for their study proposal through the ODT research approval process. It will provide detail on those studies currently supported by ODT and the direction in which the current NHSBT Research and Development (R&D) strategy is driving research internally.

Please find the Research Organ Allocation Policy, approved by ODT SMT November 2017 to be adopted into standard practice, here.

The ODT Research Handbook: How to obtain support

The ODT Research Handbook provides prospective applicants with guidelines on how to obtain support for their research studies. 

The handbook is provided for prospective applicants wishing to obtain access to organ donors and/or 'relevant material'1 from donors for research purposes. This document contains details of the various approvals, documents, and stakeholder engagement required to gain approval from NHSBT ODT, via the Research, Innovation and Novel Technologies Advisory Group (RINTAG), and where appropriate ODT Senior Management Team (SMT).

1'Relevant material' from deceased donors refers to the definition set out by the HTA and encompasses solid organs, associated tissues and/ or biopsy samples.

Executive Summary

This document outlines the NHSBT ODT approval process to obtain support for research studies.

In summary:

  • Researchers are encouraged to engage early with the NHSBT ODT Research Project Manager.
  • The ODT Research Facilitation Team will provide advice on governance and operational considerations of a study.
  • Studies will be categorised according to their nature to guide the subsequent approval route. The categorisation will inform which documents and operational considerations are required.
  • The Research Project Manager will facilitate submission to the Research, Innovation and Novel Technologies Advisory Group (RINTAG), for review.
  • RINTAG will score and rank studies requiring access to organs via the national research allocation scheme, according to a prioritisation matrix.
  • The approval timeframe varies between study categories. NHSBT ODT is committed to keeping timescales to a minimum. In some cases, final approval will be required from the ODT Senior Management Team (SMT).
  • Before a study can commence, the Chief Investigator (CI) will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines their responsibilities and compliance with regulations.
  • Researchers with active studies are expected to provide annual progress reports to ODT. This will be requested by the Research Project Manager for improvement and monitoring purposes.


To view the handbook and appendices, please see the table below.

Associated links are included within the useful links list, on the right of this page.


The Research, Innovation and Novel Technologies Advisory Group (RINTAG) has developed from the Novel Technologies in Organ Transplantation Working Party, with the aims of providing NHSBT and other stakeholders with an overview of current innovations and supporting the implementation of appropriately approved and funded research, innovations and service development, horizon scanning and working with commissioners and others to ensure the introduction of novel approaches to improve the outcomes of patients undergoing solid organ transplantation, in line with the UK Strategy Taking Organ Transplantation to 2020.

Find out more information about RINTAG 


Before submitting your research application, it is essential that you read through the research approval process.

View the ODT Research Handbook

Through the Research Project Manager, ODT provides assistance and advice to researchers wanting to undertake research that involves any aspect of ODT's activities or requires support from ODT. By working closely with researchers ODT aims to provide a streamlined service to support the stimulation, development and set-up of clinical research.

All enquiries regarding research within ODT should be initially directed to the Research Project Manager - ODT, Maria McGee

Contact the ODT Research Project Manager

Research proposals and submission deadlines

Research proposals are regularly reviewed by RINTAG. The upcoming submission deadlines are as follows:

  • 2nd March 2018
  • 30th April 2018 (11th May meeting)
  • 2nd July 2018
  • 18th September 2018 (2nd Oct meeting)

All enquiries regarding research within ODT should be initially directed to the Research Project Manager - ODT, Maria McGee

Contact the ODT Research Project Manager

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