Clinical Research Glossary

sponsor sponsor


The group that is in charge of, or pays for, a research study.

Example of sponsor in a sentence

The study sponsor is often the drug or device company that makes and studies the product.

More Info

A sponsor in clinical research is a person or group that is responsible for the design, conduct, and oversight of a research study.

There can be different types of sponsors. A sponsor can be a drug or device company, governmental agency, academic institution, person, group, or private organization.

A “Funding Sponsor” is a person or group that pays for the research study but does not conduct the study.

A “Regulatory Sponsor” is a person or group that has to report to regulators (like the FDA) about the specific drug or device being tested in a study and may be conducting the study.

A “Sponsor Investigator” is a person who designs, conducts, reports the study. The person is generally an academic researcher who is responsible to the regulatory agencies.

Other info to think about when joining a study

The term “sponsor” may be in the consent form or mentioned when the study team discusses who is running the study. The sponsor is the person or group who is responsible for how the study is conducted.

The sponsor could be a drug company or a researcher. You can ask the study team who the sponsor is and if the sponsor of the study is the group that made the investigational product that will be used in the study. You may also ask if the investigators have any financial relationship with the sponsor outside of the study or have been paid by the sponsor for other services besides the study. In general, any financial relationships between researchers and companies should be described in the consent form and made clear to the study participants.

Five circles, each containing a human icon with a lanyard around their neck. The 5 circles are connected randomly by red lines. This icon represents the groups in the network that support the conduct of research.
This graphic represents the groups in a research network that are involved in the conduct of research studies.

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