University of Leeds partner on new Research Support Service Hub for healthcare practitioners and researchers

Researchers at Leeds, together with Universities of York and Sheffield, have been awarded funding for integrated research support, advice and expertise to practitioners and researchers across England.

One of eight National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Research Support Service (RSS) Hubs, the partnership between the Universities of Leeds, York and Sheffield will bring together expertise in statistics, data science, randomised controlled trials, qualitative methods, health economics, evidence synthesis, research delivery, and patient and public involvement in research across health, public health and social care. The new RSS will commence on 1 October 2023, replacing the NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) and NIHR Clinical Trial Units (CTU) Support Funding, which both end on 30 September 2023.

Support will be available across the research pathway (pre and post application), providing advice on developing research proposals and fellowship applications, signposting to identify and incorporate appropriate methodological expertise, embedding patient-public involvement and engagement, inclusive approaches to research design, and developing initiatives to maximise capacity and capability development.

Research expertise

The Hub, which is hosted by the University of York, will mobilise a critical mass of research methods expertise and make it accessible to health and social care practitioners. It will bring together interdisciplinary teams to undertake research in areas of strategic importance to NIHR, for the benefit of the public and patients including in under-served regions and communities with unmet health needs. The team at Leeds includes researchers from the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences and Leeds Institute for Clinical Trials.

The Hub will foster and sustain a vibrant, diverse, interdisciplinary community of researchers, professional support staff, public and patient contributors and lay researchers. The funding will also facilitate development and innovation in research methods.

Partnership working

Jane Nixon, Professor of Tissue Viability and Clinical Trials Research at the University of Leeds and Co-Academic Lead of the Hub, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to mobilise a critical mass of expertise, locally within the White Rose partnership, but also nationally across the RSS to support the development of research capacity and capability in health and social care for the benefit of patients and the public.’

Amanda Farrin, Professor of Clinical Trials and Evaluation of Complex Interventions at the University of Leeds and Co-Academic Lead of the Hub, added: “We hope to foster a supportive and inclusive culture of innovation through a vibrant and diverse community of academics, health and care experts, and members of the public that will drive improvements in research methods.” 

Find out more.