NIHR Academy Executive

The NIHR Academy Executive

The NIHR Academy Executive manages the NIHR Academy on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and is responsible for development and coordination of NIHR academic training and research capacity development.

The NIHR Academy Executive is hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) and is based in Leeds.


NIHR Academy

The NIHR Academy is responsible for development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.

The NIHR Academy plays a pivotal role in attracting, training and supporting the best health and care researchers to tackle the complex challenges of the future and complements the additional NIHR investment in world-class research facilities and a skilled research workforce.

We offer numerous events throughout the year to support our activites. 

The purpose of the NIHR Academy is to develop a highly-skilled academic research workforce capable of advancing the best research which improves health, and benefits society and the economy.

To achieve this we encourage, recognise and reward:

  • collaborative, multi-professional approaches to research
  • the embracing of innovation and new opportunities and technologies
  • active involvement and engagement of patients, carers and the public
  • respect for the diversity of methodological and theoretical practices
  • personal and professional development and the support of colleagues



Leadership Team 


Lisa Cotterill, CEO

Lisa has been CEO of the NIHR Academy (formerly Trainees Coordinating Centre) since 2005. The NIHR Academy designs, develops and delivers NIHR’s Training Programmes, career pathways and capacity development initiatives. Under Lisa’s direction the NIHR Training Programmes have expanded to comprise 14 schemes in six programmes with over 3,600 award holders in post each year. Lisa’s previous experience includes research management for the Medical Research Council maintaining their portfolio for health services and public health research. Prior to that she trained as a research fellow with a focus on immunotherapy.




Caroline Magee, Deputy CEO

In her role as Deputy CEO Caroline supports the strategic oversight for the NIHR Academy. Alongside this she oversees business support including finance and contracts, information services and systems and communications, as well as engagement and career support for NIHR Academy members. Caroline has a background in medical research combined with senior roles in public relations and medical communications agencies.



Peter Thompson Assistant Director, Personal Awards

Peter has oversight of personal awards within the NIHR Academy which includes the NIHR Fellowships Programme and the HEE/NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme. The Fellowships Programme offers research training fellowships for all professionals from the pre-doctoral level up to senior fellow level. The ICA Programme offers research training for non-medical healthcare professionals.  Peter is also responsible for developing new partnerships between the NIHR Academy and charities and industry.

Previously, Peter worked as a research chemist in the pharmaceutical industry and as a post-doctoral researcher in Academia.



James Fenton Assistant Director, Integrated Pathways

James has oversight of the NIHR Institutional Awards Training (IAT) programme, working with his team to deliver schemes and awards including NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships and Clinical Lectureships posts and the In Practice Fellowship. The team also manage the NIHR Research Methods Programme and the NIHR Research Professorship scheme which now also offers opportunities in Global Health Research.

James has worked for NIHR in research management people development since 2009 and before this to his held senior medical research roles working on haematological malignancies.



Julieanne Bostock Assistant Director, Infrastructure and Capacity Building Structures

Julieanne works to promote excellence in research training within the NIHR Infrastructure which includes, Biomedical Research Centres, Patient Safety Translational Research Centres, Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care, NIHR Schools and Global Health Research Units and Groups.

She works with her team to deliver a national programme to support and engage NIHR Academy members and encourage collaboration between NIHR Infrastructure centres. Julieanne has a background in research and research management.



Tony Doubtfire Assistant Director, Information Services

Tony looks after all of the NIHR Academy’s information systems including award management, Business Intelligence and Infrastructure, balancing local requirements with NIHR wide demands including information governance. Tony has worked in the NHS for over 10 years in community and acute settings implementing patient management systems.

Tony’s background is in engineering, he has a passion for astronomy and just about anything to do with science and technology. He has an MSc in Information Systems and is a member of the BAA and RAS.



Nicola Melody Assistant Director Communications, Involvement and Development

Nicola is responsible for NIHR Academy stakeholder engagement. Her team has a wide remit that includes ensuring that NIHR training programmes are communicated to key audiences, host a series of year-round events, promote the successes of the NIHR Academy and its Members, and support patient and public involvement in NIHR Academy funded research. Her team also lead on career progression monitoring and analysis of NIHR Academy members.

NIcola has a background in higher education and research management, and is passionate about engagement.



Ian Dowling Assistant Director, Finance and Business Support

Ian is responsible for the support functions and financial management which enables the NIHR Academy to provide training programmes and supporting activities for NIHR Academy Members.

His team provide the finance HR, Recruitment and Procurement functions for the NIHR Academy as well as supporting Governance. Ian’s background is as a Chartered Management Accountant, he has worked in the public sector for his whole career, and the last 16 years in a variety of NHS organisations.


Contact us:

NIHR Academy 

21 Queen Street

Tel: 0113 532 8444