This site is optimised for modern browsers. For the best experience, please use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.


We welcome your feedback, which will help improve this site.

Feedback form

2020 NIHR ACF PES Keele Platform Science and Bioinformatics



2020 NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Priority Research Themes

HEE Local Office: West Midlands
Medical School: Keele University
Research Theme: Platform Science and Bioinformatics
Specialty Options: Cardiology or General Practice or Rheumatology

Plain English Summary

The Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) will receive Master’s level research training within the School for Primary, Community and Social Care (SPCSC) at Keele University, and will be given the opportunity to carry out a research study focusing on the role of comorbidity on people’s health and well-being. People are getting older and increasingly suffer from multiple diseases or health problems, also referred to as comorbidity. This affects their physical and mental health and leads to increased healthcare costs. It is difficult for healthcare professionals, including general practitioners and specialists, to offer patients with comorbidity optimal care for each health condition, while avoiding conflicting advice or problems related to prescribing multiple drugs or other treatments.

Valuable information can be obtained from people’s electronic health records, in which healthcare professionals routinely record information regarding health, disease, investigations and treatment, over long periods of time. The ACF will be able to use data from electronic health records linked to data from patient questionnaires to investigate the impact of comorbidity in people with musculoskeletal pain or arthritis. The ACF will investigate to what extent having other health problems leads to higher levels of pain and disability. They can look at the impact of different patterns of comorbidity (for example, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or mental health conditions), and look at the influence of comorbidity on the type of treatment offered to people with pain and arthritis.

The ACF will be supervised by experienced healthcare researchers, and be able to discuss their work with a wider team of statisticians, epidemiologists and clinicians with expertise in the use of electronic healthcare records for research. The ACF will develop the research skills needed to design a study, analyse electronic health data, and gain an understanding of the opportunities and challenges of using such ‘big data’ for research.

The ACF will be supported by the SPCSC of Keele University, which hosts the Centre for Prognosis Research, Cardiovascular Research Group, and Academic Rheumatology Group. SPCSC delivers world-leading research to improve the quality and outcomes of care for patients suffering with common health conditions, in particular musculoskeletal conditions, mental health problems, and cardiovascular disease. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework SPCSC was ranked 3rd nationally for public health, health services and primary care research. In addition to Keele’s Master of Medical Science modular degree programme, the ACF will have opportunity to participate in unique training courses on Prognosis Research Methods, Statistical Methods for Risk Prediction and Prognostic Models, and Statistical Methods for IPD Meta-analysis (

The ACF will be encouraged to take part in academic life at Keele and attend our ongoing seminar programme, journal clubs, workshops on academic writing and presentation skills, as well as relevant meetings of clinical research programmes. The ACF will be supported to develop a PhD fellowship application in their chosen clinical arena, and make a strong start towards a successful career as an academic clinician.