The Research Governance Framework requires that all research being carried out within the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals involving it's facilities, patients, their tissue or data, must have a Sponsor.

The Sponsor is defined as an individual, company, institution or organisation which takes on responsibility for the initiation, management, insurance and financing (or arranging the financing) of a research study. These responsibilities, or those who take on delegated responsibilities on behalf of the Sponsor, must be clearly agreed and documented. This is particularly important for clinical trials involving medicinal products (CTIMPs) where there are legal liabilities incurred for those acting as Sponsor.

At the Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals, an individual investigator is not permitted to act as Sponsor.

The appropriate Sponsor for a study depends on the type of study being planned but is often the employer of the Chief Investigator (CI).