This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

State-of-the-art Research Van available for research delivery across Greater Manchester

A new state-of-the-art Research Van is available to support the delivery of research projects at community locations across the region. 

Research teams at health and care organisations across Greater Manchester, East Cheshire and East Lancashire are invited to submit expressions of interest for utilising the purpose-built vehicle.

The Research Van, only the second of its kind in the UK, has been designed to deliver care and widen opportunities to be part of research in communities across the region. It can visit easy-to-reach locations such as community centres and supermarket car parks.

Take a 3D tour

virtual 3D tour of the van allows people to navigate their way around the facility and see for themselves how it could be useful to help deliver their study. 

The van has a pharmacy area and clinical area containing all equipment necessary to run vaccine programmes, clinical trials and bespoke clinical projects out in the community, along with a patient waiting area and disabled toilet facilities.  

The pharmacy has capacity to dispense Investigational Medicinal Products (IMPs), including vaccines and gene therapies, stored at a -80°C, -20°C, 2-8°C and room temperature.

Medicines storage areas are safe, secure, and lockable, and are all temperature monitored. There is also space to accommodate a bio-safety cabinet. 

The built-in ward is a fully functional outpatient clinic and includes an electrically adjustable phlebotomy couch for taking bloods and the ability to spin and store patient samples. 

Sue Stockdale, a Trainee Advanced Clinical Research Practitioner at Manchester Clinical Research Facility hosted at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), was the very first research participant on the van.

Sue had her bloods taken by colleague Jane Shaw, a Clinical Research Practitioner, as part of her involvement in the SIREN study investigating the protection COVID-19 antibodies provide against the virus.

Sue said: “'I was really pleased to be the first participant on the Research Van. The space is comfortable, clean, and surprisingly spacious. Staff were efficient and professional, making the whole experience stress-free.”

The vehicle was initially funded with a grant from the UK government Vaccine Task Force following a successful bid from NIHR Clinical Research Network Greater Manchester (CRN). It is operationally managed by the NIHR Manchester Clinical Research Facility (CRF), with further support from the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre, all of which are hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).

However, it is very much a Greater Manchester-wide resource and health and care organisations across the region are encouraged to think about how they can effectively utilise the van.

Express an interest in utilising the Research Van

For more information on the Research Van and how it can help you deliver your next research study please contact: