Advisory service for designing studies in surgery or therapeutic devices

This free service is for clinicians and scientists doing research as part of a grant-funded research project, or as an unfunded service improvement.

Are you evaluating a new surgical technique or therapeutic device? We are delighted to offer help to researchers and innovators seeking guidance on planning an IDEAL Stage study.

The service is free of charge to clinicians and scientists doing this work as part of a grant-funded research project, or as an unfunded service improvement. Contact

A separate Consultancy arrangement is available for commercial companies, through our associated non-profit company, IDEAL Innovation CIC.  To access this, please send initial enquiries to

What do you need to do?

We ask you to contact us in the first instance to check your work fits within the type of complex health intervention areas applicable to use of the IDEAL Framework and guidance. Email

If we think your research area is suitable, we will ask you to complete a submission form with more details about your proposed study (Link to Submission Form PDF). It is important that you try to identify the IDEAL stage and key purpose/question of your study using our key IDEAL papers and Flowchart.

Once we have confirmed the relevant IDEAL Stage with you, we will allocate you an expert IDEAL Advisor to help you develop your protocol using stage-specific guidance.(Link to PDFs of stage checklists)

The purpose of the service is for you to produce a clear written protocol for your study which you might consider publishing with your advisor as co-author.

What types of studies have we helped so far?

It is early stages of the service but currently we have been helping with studies from IDEAL Stage 1 to Stage 3 (first-in-human device development to randomised controlled trials of a new technique). Our projects cover a variety of clinical specialties and include;

  • A new device for haemostatic control in liver trauma.
  • A new surgical robot in spine surgery.
  • Using a new imaging combination to guide surgical resection of a type of brain tumour.
  • Examining the effect of deep brain stimulation during sleep in degenerative neurological disorders.
  • Development and feasibility of a randomised controlled trial of laser treatment of vulval lichen sclerosus.
  • A randomised controlled trial to evaluate the value of surgical staging in endometrial cancer,
  • Evaluate the feasibility and outcomes of temporary auxiliary liver transplantation for liver cancer

Evaluation of the service and feedback to help evolve the IDEAL Recommendations

We will evaluate the usefulness of our tools and service to:

  1. a) Improve our service and
  2. b) Learn from real cases studies where the IDEAL Framework and Recommendations can be amended/updated.

We ask that you agree to a short interview with us a few months after initial contact to review your experience of using IDEAL.