Clinical Trials Operations (CTO)

Clinical Trial Excellence Campaign (CTEC)

The Clinical Trial Excellence Campaign (CTEC) aims to scale tried and tested operational improvements to the clinical trial activation process. 

Clinical trials are foundational to discovery and treatment development in human research. To start or “activate” a clinical trial at UCSF requires strong collaboration across multiple stakeholders and application of best practices.

Units within the Office of Research have been working behind the scenes to identify these best practices to optimize clinical trial activation. We now know what operational changes can make your research journeys easier and more effective and are making it a priority to introduce these optimizations to more study teams. 

Campaign Goals 

The campaign is an ongoing and iterative process aiming to improve internal and external engagement, knowledge and satisfaction of key stakeholders including study staff, investigators, sponsors and CROs.

Initial goals are to:

  • Shorten activation times* and improve the overall activation process
  • Improve communication and transparency on the activation process
  • Develop a culture of shared responsibility between operational units, study teams, and external stakeholders including sponsors and CROs 

*A key metric of performance in the campaign is the time from first submission of a protocol into the system (IRB or OCTA) through to contract execution. The campaign aims to achieve an institutional median of 90 days for this metric.

Campaign Elements

Below are four key elements that study teams can engage with as the campaign begins. Please note that some elements may be more relevant to your research than others. 

New in 2024 

Additional campaign elements will be rolled out starting in Q1 of 2024, including: 

  • Optimizing activation when recruiting non-English speaking populations 
  • Focus on activation workflow challenges at ZSFG
  • Improving the activation process by providing additional tools, new and updated training courses, and best practices to a variety of study designs and sponsorships
  • And more!

Get Involved 

The campaign is now in a phase where we need your collaboration! As you start to use the new campaign offerings, or engage in parts of the new activation process, we encourage your feedback to enrich this iterative process and make these changes even better.

What our central teams will offer:

  • Operational scaling of initiatives shown to be effective
  • Training, resources, and support for CTEC initiatives
  • Outreach to study sponsors
  • Continual internal effort and initiatives for process improvement 

Requests from study teams, sponsors and CROs:

  • Engagement with our new processes and trainings
  • Feedback on what is working well and what is not working well
  • Commitment to collaboration 

Are you a study Sponsor or Clinical Research Organization (CRO) that wants to get involved or learn more about this initiative? Contact us at [email protected].


March 2024 - CTO Research Forum

Date & Time Speakers & Topics Recording

March 7, 2024

12 pm – 1 pm

  • Dominica Randazzo, Associate Director for CTO
    Industry Clinical Trial Activation Guide for study teams

Frequently Asked Questions