Our research

Our research

We deliver a diverse range of commercial and non-commercial clinical trials, observational studies, and transformative projects exploring new therapies and medical technologies.

Our recent successes


You can find out more about our current clinical research studies and previous clinical research on our pages.

Partnership with the University of Exeter

The Royal Devon’s strong partnership with the University of Exeter helps us to develop and deliver world-class experimental, translational and health research. This includes the NIHR Exeter Biomedical Research Centre, the NIHR HealthTech Research Centre in Sustainable Innovation, and the state-of-the-art training and research facilities in the RILD building.

World-class networks

State-of-the-art facilities

Our site encompasses United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) quality accredited facilities including laboratories, imaging services, and pathology services working to the highest levels of excellence.

The Royal Devon also has research facilities based at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Heavitree site in Exeter and at North Devon District Hospital.

Exceptional research talent

We have access to healthcare scientists, academics, and leading researchers who are experts in their fields. This includes over 40 chief investigators and 71 principal investigators supporting research across over 30 specialty areas such as paediatrics, cancer, neurodegeneration, and diabetes.

Examples of recent clinical research

Parkinson's Disease clinical research study

The Royal Devon was the highest UK recruiting site for a ground-breaking research study that took place across multiple sites, including imaging facilities in London. The study team were recognised for their resilience, determination, and dedication to going above and beyond for patients. Participants commended the team for their care and attentiveness, expressing interest at being contacted for future studies.


Respiratory clinical research study 

Delivered by the respiratory research team, the Royal Devon was one of seven sites in the UK supporting a leading clinical research study. The study explored treatments for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), and feedback has been highly positive from patients. The team were the second highest UK recruiters and have achieved a 100% retention rate to date, with follow-up visits scheduled until September 2024.


Heart failure clinical research study

One of 10 sites across the UK, the Royal Devon was the top recruiting site for a cutting-edge heart failure study. High engagement from participants lead to the decision to extend the study and overrecruit, enabling more people to have an opportunity to take part in research. 


Multiple Sclerosis (MS): clinical research

The Royal Devon was selected to run three clinical research studies exploring potential treatments for different types of MS.  The Neurology Research Team collaborated with MS Nurses, working closely with the team to share current trials at the Trust. The Royal Devon was one of the first UK sites to reach target for one of the studies, and overrecruited to another.

Thanks to this, the Trust was asked to open a third study to boost global recruitment. The patient identified for this trial was not eligible for the only disease modifying treatment available for their condition. Opening the study meant we were able to offer a potential form of treatment, and we successfully reached target in May 2024.

The collaboration between the teams has led to more MS patients being able to access research. It also strengthened the Trust’s relationship with the sponsor, and the Royal Devon has been selected for two further  MS studies and a neurology study for myasthenia gravis.

Last updated: July 11, 2024.