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NIHR Short Placement Award for Research Collaboration (SPARC): Where Can I Go?

 

Contents

This document details the types of activities taking place across the NIHR. Please note, this list is by no means exhaustive and we would encourage you to fully explore the wide range of facilities, expertise and opportunities available to you across the NIHR for your personal and professional development, and develop a placement that is bespoke to your individual training needs, background, skills/experiences and overall academic career development.

This document also highlights some of the links/collaborations NIHR sites may have with the Life Sciences/Med-tech/SME’s/Food Industry, that may be of interest to SPARC applicants looking to develop skills and gain experience of what is needed to have a successful working relationship with industry. This document will continue to be updated as we receive further information.

You can undertake a SPARC placement anywhere across the NIHR; however you must have discussed and sought agreement/permission from the Host Institution. Applicants are responsible for liaising with their Home Institution Academic Career Development Lead and Host Institution/potential placement institution and agreeing the scope of the placement prior to submitting an application.

Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs)

Barts BRC

Webpage: https://www.qmul.ac.uk/whri/research/cardiovascular/nihr-barts-biomedical-research-centre-/


The NIHR Barts Biomedical Research Centre is a joint partnership between Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London.

Research Themes:

Inherited Cardiovascular Disorders -

Our translational genomics research platform is exceptional with one the largest rare inherited disorders clinical services. Our strategy capitalises upon the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Research Lead: Panos Deloukas

Expertise and strengths for placement:

  • Expertise in genetic markers for coronary heart disease
  • Integrating multiomics and phenotyping for medicine

For further details, please contact ProfessorPanos (Panagiotis)Deloukas (p.deloukas@qmul.ac.uk)

Cardiovascular Devices and Innovative Trials -

This research theme aims to exploit the potential of translational non-invasive/implantable devices by contributing to the establishment of a UK based one-stop device centre that integrates a faculty of world-leading academics, bio-engineers, and industry partnerships in collaboration with Yale University, USA.

Research Team: John Deanfield, Andreas Baumbach, Alexandra Lansky, Anthony Mathur

Expertise and strengths for placement:

  • Expertise in innovative trials, cardiovascular devices and new technology
  • Strong academic and industry network

For further details, please contact Professor Anthony Mathur (a.mathur@qmul.ac.uk)

Cross-Cutting Themes:

Barts BioResource (Incorporating Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging and Bioinformatics) -

The BBR is home to one of the UKs most cutting-edge advanced cardiovascular imaging and bioinformatics facilities with its infrastructure based on a state-of–the-art multi-petabyte data centre platform.

Research Lead: Steffen Petersen

Expertise and strengths for placement:

  • Expertise in phenotyping using advanced cardiovascular imaging
  • Bioinformatics skills in BioResource

For further details, please contact Professor Steffen Petersen (s.e.petersen@qmul.ac.uk)

Birmingham BRC

Webpage: www.birminghambrc.nihr.ac.uk

Birmingham BRC has an excellent clinical environment and research infrastructure at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Birmingham.

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

We have research themes covering a number of inflammatory conditions:-

  • Arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Inflammatory liver diseases
  • Sarcopaenia

Cross-cutting themes

  • Trial design & delivery
  • Diagnostics & biomarkers
  • Entrepreneurship & commercialisation.

Diseases of the immune system, which can lead to persistent inflammation, are a group of common and highly disabling conditions which share underlying disease processes. They affect up to 10% of the UK population and this figure is likely to increase with our ageing population. Unfortunately treatment is expensive, rarely curative and often associated with disabling side-effects such as infection.

We are carrying out studies in patients with inflammatory disease in which we are:

  1. Exploring the disease processes that drive these conditions
  2. Focusing on mechanisms that are shared between different conditions allowing us to design rational treatments that will benefit many more patients
  3. Developing new biomarkers that allow us to select the best new treatment for each patient
  4. Testing new treatments that switch off or re-calibrate the overactive immune system that underpins these diseases.

Please contact bridget.gunson@uhb.nhs.uk for more information.

Bristol BRC

Webpage: https://www.bristolbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our themes are:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Mental health
  • Surgical Innovation
  • Nutrition, diet and lifestyle
  • Perinatal and reproductive health

Our cross-cutting themes are:

  • Biostatistics, evidence synthesis and informatics
  • Translational Population Science
  • Involving and engaging members of the public
  • Qualitative research network

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Population health research across the life course, including genomic/epigenomic epidemiology and advanced quantitative techniques
  • Patient focussed research in clinical nutrition
  • Transforming the introduction and evaluation of novel and evolving invasive procedures and devices including surgery, endoscopic and percutaneous techniques
    Qualitative research
  • Patient focussed research in clinical nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle, including research methodology

Industry Collaborations:

With colleagues in the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit, we continue to use the MR-Base software platform to drive collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry.
 
We have an ongoing international partnership on paediatric sports cardiology with international imaging technology companies, elite sports institutions and researchers in exercise, imaging and cardiology.
 
We also have links with surgical device manufacturers around evaluation of novel and evolving procedures and devices.

Cambridge BRC

Webpage: https://cambridgebrc.nihr.ac.uk/

A partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals and the University of Cambridge. Based on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, it combines on a single site scientific research in world-class institutes, patient care in NHS hospitals and drug discovery in pharmaceutical companies.The core priority for the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre is translational medicine, delivering science from the bench to the bedside.

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Cross-cutting research themes:

The cross cutting themes provide specialist knowledge and expertise across the whole of the Biomedical Research Centre helping them to undertake and deliver the best research possible.

Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC

Webpage: http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/research-and-innovation/nihr-great-ormond-street-hospital-brc

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR GOSH BRC) aims to accelerate discoveries into the basis of childhood rare diseases and to develop novel diagnostics, imaging techniques and new treatments, including cellular and gene therapies.

The NIHR GOSH BRC is the only centre of its kind dedicated to paediatric research with research focused around the following four key research themes; Gene, Stem, and Cellular Therapies, Genomics and Systems Medicine, Novel Therapies and their Translation into Childhood Diseases and Advanced Treatments for Structural Malformation and Tissue Damage.

The cross-cutting themes provide specialist knowledge and expertise across the GOSH BRC, helping them to undertake and deliver the best research possible. The themes consist of; Rare diseases cohorts, Experimental Medicine Academy, Clinical Research Facility High Intensity Inpatient trials and Translational Research and Enterprise Accelerator.

For further information, please contact: brc@gosh.nhs.uk

Guys and St Thomas BRC

Webpage: http://www.guysandstthomasbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Cardiovascular disease – Professor Ajay Shah
  • Cutaneous Medicine – Professor Jonathan Barker
  • Genomic Medicine – Professor Richard Trembath
  • Infection and Immunity – Professor Mike Malim
  • Imaging Sciences - Professor Sebastien Ourselin
  • Transplantation – Professor Steven Sacks
  • Oral Health – Professor Paul Sharpe
  • Regenerative medicine and cellular therapy - Professor Fiona Watt
  • Women and Children’s Health – Professor Lucilla Poston

You can find out more about each on the research themes section of our website - http://www.guysandstthomasbrc.nihr.ac.uk/research/research-themes

In addition to our research themes there are projects within our MHRA Accredited Clinical Research Facility and our research platforms, such as our Advanced therapies manufacturing platform and our Flow Cytometry platform - http://www.guysandstthomasbrc.nihr.ac.uk/research-platforms/

Imperial BRC

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Imperial BRC aims to transform scientific discoveries into clinical practice through facilitating, promoting and evaluating new devices, diagnostics, therapies and data-driven healthcare research.

Research/Disease Themes:

  • Brain Sciences
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Gut Health
  • Immunology
  • Infection & Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Metabolic Medicine & Endocrinology
  • Surgery & Technology

Cross-Cutting Themes:

  • Genetics & Genomics
  • Imaging
  • Informatics & Biobanking
  • Molecular Phenomics

Additional infrastructure support:

  • Patient Experience Research Centre (public involvement and engagement expertise)
  • Clinical Academic Training Office (centralised academic training hub for clinical academic trainees in medical and non-medical healthcare professions)
  • Imperial Clinical Analytics, Research and Evaluation (data analytics)
  • Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (bioinformatics support)

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

Our BRC has expertise in each of our Themes detailed above, however particular areas of expertise to highlight for SPARC placements include:

  • Data analytics and health informatics
  • Public involvement and societal engagement
  • Patient safety research

The NIHR Imperial BRC works closely with other NIHR-supported infrastructure at Imperial:

  • NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility
  • NIHR London In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative
  • NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre
  • Imperial Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre
  • NIHR Clinical Research Network North West London
  • NIHR Health Informatics Collaborative
  • NIHR Health Protection Research Units

Industry Collaborations:

The infrastructure for supporting implementation of our industrial partnership strategy is well-established and we have a strong and successful track record of collaborating with industry partners. Details of our strategic collaborations: https://imperialbrc.nihr.ac.uk/industry/collaborations

We work closely with the Imperial College Enterprise Team, the Joint Research Office and wider NIHR Infrastructure to facilitate collaborations between our researcher communities and industrial partners. Examples of commercialisation: https://imperialbrc.nihr.ac.uk/industry/commercialisation

We have a number of Networks and Centres of Excellence that aim to establish and grow multidisciplinary connections around areas of research to address some of the world’s most important issues. Details of these multidisciplinary networks: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/multidisciplinary-research

Leeds BRC

Webpage: www.leedsbrc.nihr.ac.uk

The Leeds BRC is a collaboration between Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and the University of Leeds.  The Centre is built around the existing strengths in rheumatology, bioengineering, regenerative medicine and imaging.

The vision for the Leeds Musculoskeletal Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is that through accurate detection and early diagnosis, we can identify individually targeted, cost-effective therapies for musculoskeletal patients for both IMIDs and OA. This personalised approach will be driven by two clinical challenges.

  • To identify people who are at risk of developing inflammatory arthritis in order to prevent development of inflammatory complications and develop targeted, safe treatments
  • To improve the treatment of OA to provide fifty active years after fifty in the ageing population

Our research is focused on two themes which are driven by key challenges for the burden of MSK:  early detection and optimal management of immune mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID; work streams 1-4) and disease progression prevention and improving the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA; work streams 5-7).

Our workstreams consist of the following:

Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases -

  • At Risk of Developing Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Immunotherapies in Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Interventions based on stratified prognosis for Psoriatic Arthritis and Connective Tissue Disease
  • Drug Repurposing and treatment toxicity for Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases

Osteoarthritis -

  • Longer lasting joint replacements
  • Acellular scaffolds and regenerative devices for treatment of Osteoarthritis
  • Non-surgical treatments for Osteoarthritis

Specialist facilities include -

  • Research dedicated Musculoskeletal Imaging Facilities, including 3T MRI and Ultrasound
  • State of the Art Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory
  • Leeds Institute for Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine
  • Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
  • Psychometric Laboratory (Rasch Analysis)
  • Leeds Institute for Clinical Trials Research

Leicester BRC

Webpage: www.leicesterbrc.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Leicester BRC is hosted by Leicester’s Hospitals, in partnership with the University of Leicester and Loughborough University. Our overall purpose is to translate scientific breakthroughs in these areas into diagnostic tests, preventions and life-saving treatments. The NIHR Leicester BRC is at the frontier of research into illnesses linked to:

  • Respiratory conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Consequences of inactivity

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Treatments for asthma and COPD, breathomics, pulmonary rehabilitation, long-term effects of COVID-19, mental health effects of COPD
  • Cardiovascular genetics and biomarkers, and novel cardiovascular Interventions
  • Role of diet and exercise in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases
  • The application of precision medicine methodologies to priority areas in each of our themes.

Industry Collaborations:

  • Cardiovascular Collaborations – Experience of developing and delivering interventional cardiology device trials including a number of first in man, includes robotic RF ablation, wireless pacemaker and TAVI
  • Respiratory Collaboration – Experience of developing and commercialisation of a novel breath capture and measurement device as part of MRC EMBER breathomics node. Working with UK SMEs developed novel tests detecting deterioration of asthma.
  • Precision Medicine Collaborations include licensing of multiple molecules to industry partners for metabolomics, proteomics.  Bedside application of assessment and quantification of non-adherence.

Manchester BRC

Webpage: https://www.manchesterbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Advanced Radiotherapy:

Our Advanced Radiotherapy research team is working to embrace technological advances and develop biomarkers to predict the effectiveness of different types of radiation and drug-radiation combinations, as well as helping to minimise the risk of long-term side effects.

Expertise & strengths for placement opportunities:

  • Personalised targeting of hypoxia for radiotherapy patients
  • Developing new radiotherapy-immunotherapy combinations
  • Improving radiation delivery
  • Identifying the genetic basis for benefit from protons

Contact: rebecca.m.elliott@manchester.ac.uk

Cancer Prevention and Early Detection:

Our research will reduce the burden of common cancers with a strong inherited component. We will develop screening strategies and biomarkers to identify cancer sooner, match an individual to the prevention treatment most likely to work for them and, in some cases, our work will even help to prevent conditions progressing into cancer in the first place.

  • Expertise & strengths for placements opportunities:
  • Developing and improving models for risk stratification
  • Obesity-related cancers
  • Developing new imaging and molecular biomarkers
  • Early detection

Our themes training leads are Prof Andrew Renehan (andrew.renehan@btinternet.com) and Dr Emma Crosbie.

Dermatology:

Research is truly translational and reflects the bedside-to-bench approach; we use qualitative and quantitative methodologies to advance our understanding, and treatment of, human skin disease.

Expertise & strengths for placement opportunities:

  • Psoriasis and inflammatory skin disease
  • The photodermatoses (disease mediated via the skin’s interactions with sunlight)
  • Hair biology including alopecia
  • Wound healing

For more information, contact the Dermatology theme training lead Professor Rachel Watson (rachel.watson@manchester.ac.uk).

Cancer Precision Medicine:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Cancer Precision Medicine theme focusses on playing to our international strengths and includes developing biomarkers to support the use of novel treatments aimed at awakening the patient’s immune system to fight their cancer, so we know which patients to treat and minimise risk of treatment toxicities.

Expertise & strengths for placement opportunities:

  • Treatment selection and monitoring of treatment response
  • Optimising immunotherapies
  • Monitoring residual disease

For more information, contact the Cancer Precision Medicine theme training lead Dr Robert Clarke (robert.clarke@manchester.ac.uk).

Hearing Health:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Hearing Health theme research programme spans prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. It will improve the lives of children and adults by preventing potentially devastating congenital deafness, diagnosing acquired age-related deficits and developing new treatments.

Expertise & strengths for placement opportunities:

  • Developing genetic and genomic solutions
  • Optimised assessment and diagnosis
  • Diagnosing paediatric auditory deficit
  • Developing engineering solutions and optimising outcomes

For more information, contact the Hearing Health theme training lead Dr Piers Dawes (Piers.Dawes@manchester.ac.uk).

Musculoskeletal:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Musculoskeletal theme has a strong track record of musculoskeletal research having had one of only three musculoskeletal NIHR Biomedical Research Units (BRU) previously, which undertook translational clinical research in musculoskeletal disorders. The BRU work forms the basis from which the research described in the BRC musculoskeletal theme is built.

Expertise & strengths for placements opportunities:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Childhood arthritis
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Degenerative joint disease

For more information, contact the Musculoskeletal theme training lead Dr Ben Parker (Ben.Parker@mft.nhs.uk).

Respiratory:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Respiratory theme research will build a better understanding of the underlying causes of these conditions, develop blood and sputum tests, as well as biomarkers in breath, which detect and more accurately characterise respiratory disease and infection. This will enable an earlier and more personalised approach to treatment and test new drug compounds aimed at novel targets to cure or improve serious lung diseases and minimise symptoms.

Expertise & strengths for placements opportunities:

  • COPD
  • Improving respiratory symptoms
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory infections

For more information, contact theme training lead Dr Riina Richardson (Riina.Richardson@manchester.ac.uk).

These research themes are underpinned by cross-cutting themes -

Informatics and Data Sciences:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Informatics and Data Sciences theme research involves patient-driven data from mobile and wearable technologies and using such technologies enable frequent measurement of disease and lifestyle patterns. Computerised connections between patients, clinicians and researchers also provide smarter ways to run experiments.

Expertise & strengths for placement opportunities:

  • Drives of change – inefficient silos of discovery and experimentation
  • Target position – research strengths borrowed across themes
  • Disruptive advance – integrative system-wide methodology

For more information, contact the BRC Training Coordinator Jane Crosbie (jane.crosbie@manchester.ac.uk).

Biomarker Platforms:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Biomarker Platforms research will use biomarkers to develop tests and techniques (including imaging, genomic, DNA or blood protein measurements) that can be used to aid clinical decisions/stratify patients into specific groups so they can receive the most appropriate care.

  • Expertise and strengths for placement opportunities:
  • Biomarker discovery and development with the Research Themes;

Accelerating the biomarker discovery to clinical use through our closely aligned infrastructure.

For more information, contact the BRC Training Coordinator Jane Crosbie (jane.crosbie@manchester.ac.uk).

Rapid Translation Incubator:

The Manchester NIHR BRC Rapid Translational Incubator is responsible for signposting researchers to operational support and providing oversight to ensure that research is rapidly translated into clinical practice. The RTI brings together key infrastructure essential to the design and delivery of clinical studies, as well as the commercialisation of new healthcare products.

For more information, contact the BRC Training Coordinator Jane Crosbie (jane.crosbie@manchester.ac.uk).

Maudsley BRC

Webpage: https://www.maudsleybrc.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Theme 1: Novel Therapeutics

Theme Lead: Professor Allan Young

Project Team: Centre for Affective Disorders:  CRiB Study

Prof. Allan Young collaborating with senior academics across IoPPN and clinicians in SLaM.

Project Lead: Professor Allan Young

Areas of expertise /specialist skills:

Clinical Trials, Psychological Therapies, Cognitive Remediation, Neuroimaging, Bipolar Disorder Clinical interviewing, neuropsychological assessment, neuroimaging, data analysis.

Project website address:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/depts/pm/research/CfAD/The-CRiB-study.aspx

  • Theme 2: Substance Use

Theme Lead: Professor Sir John Strang

Project Team: The Heroin Overdose and Reversal Experimental Study group: Professor Sir John Strang working with other professors and senior academics within the Addictions group and collaborators.

Project Lead: Professor Sir John Strang , working with Dr Caroline Jolley, Clinical Senior Lecturer in Respiratory Medicine; and with Prof Ben Forbes and Dr Paul Royall (Institute Pharmaceutical Sciences) for development of prototype overdose reversal medications. 

Areas of expertise /specialist skills:

Development of skills working on the interface between addictions studies and respiratory and emergency medicine, also experimental studies developed and undertaken in partnership with patient groups and active clinicians.

For overview of the rationale, see:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ohkapcwk0xlsk3y/KCLdistancelearning-thenaloxonestory-2016-Final_Edit_M5_W2_IoPPN_revised_tosend.mp4?dl=0

Theme 3: Biomarkers & Genomics

Theme Lead: Professor Cathryn Lewis

Project Team: Statistical Genetics Unit

Project Lead: Professor Cathryn Lewis

Areas of expertise /specialist skills:

Statistical genetics, genetic association testing, polygenic risk scores. In collaboration with the trainee, we will develop a project based on polygenic risk scores for psychiatric and neuropsychiatric disorders, exploring how these could be moved from research studies to the clinic.  

Project website address:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/gmm/departments/mmg/researchgroups/clewis/sgu/index.aspx

Theme 4: Clinical and Population Informatics

Theme Lead: Professor Robert Stewart

Project Team: Clinical Informatics in the BRC Nucleus

Project Lead: Professor Robert Stewart

Areas of expertise /specialist skills:

Analysis and interpretation of ‘big’ healthcare data. Applied natural language processing.

Project website address:

http://www.maudsleybrc.nihr.ac.uk/facilities/clinical-record-interactive-search-cris/

Theme 5: Neuroimaging

Theme Lead: Professor Steve Williams

Project Team: Neuroimaging department at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience.

Project Lead: Professor Steve Williams

Areas of expertise / specialist skills:

Exposure to psychiatric neuroimaging research across the lifespan.

Project website address:

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/depts/neuroimaging/index.aspx

Moorfields BRC

Webpage: https://www.moorfieldsbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Newcastle BRC

Webpage: https://www.newcastlebrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Newcastle BRC conducts world-class research in ageing and long-term health conditions.We bring together Newcastle Hospitals, one of the largest and most successful teaching hospitals in England and twice rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC, and the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle.

University, which has a well-established, international reputation for multi-disciplinary research into the area of Ageing and Health.

We has five research themes:

  • Dementia (particular focus on Dementia with Lewy Bodies)
  • Liver disease
  • Musculoskeletal disease
  • Neuromuscular disease (including mitochondrial disease)
  • Skin and oral disease

Our cross-cutting Ageing Syndromes theme, is focussed on translating the understanding of biological ageing into advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sarcopenia, frailty and multimorbidity.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Dementia, particularly Lewy Body Disease (LBD).
  • Liver Disease focuses on chronic non-viral liver disease linking curated patient cohorts with basic research excellence to develop novel treatment approaches.
  • Musculoskeletal Disease builds on our development of novel biomarkers, stratified therapeutic approaches, and devices for patients with musculoskeletal conditions, through a combination of basic and translational research.
  • Neuromuscular Disease has continued our internationally leading work in mitochondrial (Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research) and neuromuscular diseases (John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre).
  • Skin and Oral Disease uses the findings from our studies in healthy volunteers as well as in psoriasis, atopic eczema, periodontitis and critical care cohorts.
  • Ageing Syndromes focuses on improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ageing syndromes. We have particular expertise in the design and delivery of clinical trials in older people.
  • Our researchers have access to world-class imaging, clinical research and bio-storage facilities, see more at https://www.newcastlebrc.nihr.ac.uk/research/research-infrastructure/
  • Our BRC has an expertise in relation to patient and public involvement in research design, delivery and dissemination

Industry Collaborations:

We have strong industry relationships across our research themes, with companies attracted by access to our experienced clinicians and scientists, well-characterised patient cohorts, robust delivery infrastructure and track record of effective collaboration. This includes BRC researchers leading three major European Innovative Medicines Initiative, two Joint Undertaking funded projects with a combined value of over €100m. We also host the NIHR Dementia Translational Research Collaboration, Chaired by Professor David Burn - https://www.nihr.ac.uk/partners-and-industry/industry/collaborate-with-us/dementia.htm

Nottingham BRC

Webpage: https://nottinghambrc.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme themes are:

  • Hearing - research focus on hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, chemotherapy effects, genetics, biomarkers & neuroimaging.
  • Respiratory - research focus on asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, interstitial lung disease, acute and chronic infections and MRI imaging.
  • Gastrointestinal & Liver - research focus on infections, GI physiology and liver metabolism, neurogastroenterology, dynamic and spectral GI MRI imaging.
  • Mental Health & Technology - research focus on digital interventions and wearable technology, analysis of facial expressions and speech, MRI and neuromodulation in depression and Tourettes, and adverse reactions to antidepressants.
  • Musculoskeletal - research focus on osteoarthritis, frailty, pain, metabolism and ageing.

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Imaging / MRI incorporating the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging centre as a world leading centre for MRI research. Research focus on MRI to assess organ functional and metabolism, and latent pathophysiological processes for experimental medicine studies and to enable pre-emptive and personalised medicine.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Advanced imaging using MultiX capability at 7T, a SpinLab polariser, a CTIMP hyperpolarised 129Xe facility with MHRA-manufacturing site approval, upright and wide-bore MRI scanners
  • Nottingham Advanced Data Analysis Centre (HDR UK).
  • World’s largest Hepatitis C cohort
  • National centre for Lymphangioleiomyomatosis
  • The Pain Centre Versus Arthritis
  • The MRC Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing
  • The Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport Exercise and Osteoarthritis
  • Helicobacter and Clostridia research underpinned by our BBSRC/EPSRC Centre
  • Stem Cell Biology Group and FRAME Alternatives Laboratory cell biology facility
  • Musculoskeletal Ageing Research facilitates in vivo human, whole body physiology investigations
  • Computational and molecular pathology pipelines with multiplatform biomarker testing for clinical decision making tools in the Nottingham Molecular Pathology Node
  • Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system within the Nottinghamshire mental health service is a de-identified database with expertise in text mining and language processing.
  • Mental health User-Centric App Design with the School of Computer Science Mixed Reality Lab and Research Institute for Digital Economy

Industry Collaborations:

The Mental Health and Technology theme works closely with MindTech, a national centre focussing on the development, adoption and evaluation of new technologies for mental healthcare and dementia (www.mindtech.org.uk).

We are part of several major national/international collaborations including India, Nepal, Denmark, Brazil and China; and we work closely with commercial pharma companies such as Glaxosmithkline (GSK) and AstraZeneca.

Oxford BRC

Webpage: https://oxfordbrc.nihr.ac.uk

The Oxford BRC focuses on translational research, meaning first time studies of medical innovations in patients, to improve healthcare delivery for all.

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research is divided into 20 research themes covering all areas of therapy and includes developing new technology and devices as well as behavioural approaches to healthcare.

For further information please contact either of the training leads Professor Sarah Rowland-Jones sarah.rowland-jones@ndm.ox.ac.uk or Dr Denise Best denise.best@medsci.ox.ac.uk and the Oxford BRC Education and Training Manager Dr Karen Bell karen.bell@medsci.ox.ac.uk.

Oxford Health BRC

Webpage: http://www. https://oxfordhealthbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Adult mental health
  • Older adults and dementia
  • Precision psychological therapies

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Informatics and digital health
  • Neuroimaging and cognitive neurosciences
  • Clinical research infrastructure and experimental medicine

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • The use of experimental medicine approaches to evaluate novel treatments for mental health conditions (pharmacological and psychological, and combinatorial approaches)
  • Data synthesis, including network meta-analysis
  • Digital phenotyping, using smartphones, apps etc.
  • Translation of genomic information into novel therapeutic targets
  • The development of new cognitive and neuroimaging biomarkers
  • Embedding of research in standard clinical care pathways
  • Improving patient access to trials, and refining ‘trial ready cohorts’
  • Developing and refining internet-based psychological treatments
  • The use of virtual reality for psychological treatments
  • Computational approaches to psychiatry

Industry Collaborations:

Life sciences collaborations:

  • Experimental medicine approaches to the development of novel therapeutic approaches with P1vital (https://www.p1vital.com/) and pharmaceutical industry partners.
  • Translation of genomic information into novel therapeutic targets with pharmaceutical industry partners

Med-Tech collaborations:

  • Developing and delivering evidence-based psychological therapies with Oxford VR (oxfordvr.com)

Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research BRC

Webpage: https://www.cancerbrc.org/our-research

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research comprises six research themes:

There are also two cross-cutting themes:

For further information please contact the Training Lead, Digby Ingle (Digby.Ingle@rmh.nhs.uk) the Clinical Research Operations Manager, Mark Terry (Mark.Terry@rmh.nhs.uk)  and the relevant Theme Lead as outlined on the website.

Sheffield BRC

Webpage: http://sheffieldbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Sheffield BRC is focused on the pull-through of developments in the fields of Neurodegeneration, Neuroinflammation and Cerebrovascular disease into early phase clinical trials.

Research in these areas is supported by cross-cutting themes:-

  • Advanced Medical Imaging
  • Genomic Medicine
  • Bioinformatics
  • Silico medicine.

The NIHR Sheffield BRC brings together outstanding scientists from the University of Sheffield (TUoS) Departments of Neuroscience and Engineering in multidisciplinary research institutes SITraN and INSIGNEO together with clinical disciplines at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (STHFT) to improve the treatment and care of people living with chronic neurological disorders. Clinical Research projects will take place in conjunction with the Academic Directorate of Neuroscience at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and will be supported by the NIHR Sheffield Clinical Research Facility.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Predictive medicine technologies.

These approaches are particularly effective when mechanistic knowledge has a significant biophysics component. INSIGNEO will host fellows interested in learning how to integrate and model quantitative phenotyping of balance, movement, and muscle force expression, combined with biomarker data from target diseases. Specific placements can cover: a) Instrumental quantification of neuromuscular and neuromotor deficits, b) Use of wearable sensors as part of a clinical motor functional assessment, c) Patient-specific modelling as a tool to quantify neuromotor degeneration.

  • Advanced Imaging.

Happy to host fellows interested in applying advanced imaging techniques to provide diagnosis, prognosis, provision of mechanistic information, and imaging biomarkers to aid development and evaluation of new therapeutic interventions. Specific placements can cover different MR sub-modality techniques, acquisition protocols and analysis tools including:31P, 22Na multinuclear spectroscopy; 1H spectral editing; endogenous perfusion, macrovascular flow, advanced diffusion, fMRI & resting-state fMRI; multi-contrast carotid plaque characterisation.

  • Genomics and Bioinformatics.

Clinical research centres are now routinely generating genomics and omics datasets that necessitate specialist training, not taught as part of traditional medical curriculum. We address the need for quantitative and computational skills to enable clinical researchers to design appropriate experiments, interpret and explore their data, build vocabulary and so forge more effective collaborations with Bioinformaticians. The Sheffield Bioinformatics Core provides a rich training environment for and best-practice data analysis in clinical genomics and research. We welcome fellows with an interest in developing their skills in this area to apply to their own research area.

If interested in a SPARC opportunity at NIHR Sheffield BRC please contact the training lead Prof Oliver Bandmann (o.bandmann@sheffield.ac.uk).

Industry Collaborations:

The Sheffield BRC works with multiple industry partners; from SMEs (TalarMade with the HeadUp collar, Heptares for drug development), Pharma (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Biogen, Merck and IONIS for advanced therapy development), through to innovative companies such as artificial intelligence company Benevolent.

For more details please contact the Business Manager Dr.Tom Bartlett – Tel: 0114 2228720 Email: t.e.bartlett@sheffield.ac.uk from the Sheffield Healthcare Gateway: http://shg.sheffield.ac.uk/

Southampton BRC

Webpage: http://www.uhs.nhs.uk/ClinicalResearchinSouthampton/Research/Facilities/NIHR-Southampton-Biomedical-Research-Centre/NIHRSouthamptonBiomedicalResearchCentre.aspx

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Nutrition and Respiratory health -

The centre has two main, linked, themes:

1) Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health, for further information please contact Dr Mark Johnson (m.johnson@soton.ac.uk)

2) Respiratory and Critical Care, for further information please contact Dr Karl Staples (k.staples@soton.ac.uk).

We provide a vibrant environment supported by enthusiastic and caring supervisors and an effective mentorship scheme.

Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health.

The Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health theme addresses major challenges to our nation's health including childhood obesity, liver disease and alcohol-related illness, cancer linked to obesity and healthy ageing. Work in this theme examines these issues at three stages of life:

1) Early life, from before pregnancy to adolescence

2) Adulthood

3) Older age.

For further information, contact Professor Keith Godfrey (kmg@mrc.soton.ac.uk).

  • Respiratory and Critical Care

The Respiratory and Critical Care Theme addresses common problems that affect millions of people like asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), tackles rare lung diseases for which therapies are limited, and will discover new ways of improving the management of critically ill patients. Work on these topics involves three aspects, from better prevention of disease, through earlier and more accurate diagnoses, to developing treatments personalised to each individual including managing end-of-life care with dignity.

For further information, contact Professor Ratko Djukanovic (R.Djukanovic@soton.ac.uk).

Cross-cutting themes

Three important areas of research are common to our nutrition and respiratory themes:

  • Data science: Using large amounts of clinical and research data to improve treatments and health
  • Microbial science: Fighting microbial infections and overcoming antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Behavioural science: Supporting people in healthy behaviours and choices

Training in these cross-cutting themes is led by Kay Mitchell (K.Mitchell@soton.ac.uk).

  • Data science

With patient agreement, we are making the most of patient information available in the NHS system and from research studies. We aim to help doctors make better, faster decisions on individuals’ treatment through new approaches to combining and analysing data from, for example, admissions to hospital, scans, genetic and biochemical results.

For further details, contact Professor Anneke Lucassen (a.lucassen@soton.ac.uk).

  • Microbial science

A growing number of bacteria and fungi resistant to antibiotic drugs threaten to make currently treatable infections and routine surgery lethal. We’re combining genetic techniques to identify new drugs with an approach exploring use of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut and upper airways to fight infection and improve health. To do this we’ve brought together experts in engineering, microbiology and physical sciences, and initiated ground-breaking studies of infectious diseases.

For further details, contact Professor Rob Read (R.C.Read@soton.ac.uk).

  • Behavioural science

Supporting people in making choices that improve their health, and that of their families, is critical to well-being and our productivity as a nation. Through a new Centre for Participatory Medicine, we are combining digital, educational and face-to-face methods of offering support into new ways of improving control of respiratory diseases and reducing obesity and malnutrition.

For further details, contact Professor Mary Barker (meb@mrc.soton.ac.uk).

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

The Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health theme team offers the following:

  • Expertise in nutrition and epigenetics
  • Expertise in growth and nutrition in the neonatal period and childhood chronic illness
  • Skills in the assessment of nutrition and lifestyle related liver disease
  • Experience of mother-offspring nutritional cohort and intervention studies
  • Expertise in nutrition as it relates to healthy ageing
  • Training in communicating research stories to teenagers, as part of work to strengthen nutrition literacy in young people.

The Respiratory and Critical Care theme team offers the following:

  • Full breadth of cutting-edge research, from basic (laboratory-based) to clinical science, across all the major lung disease areas (respiratory allergy, respiratory infections, chronic airways diseases (asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis, cough), critical care, rare lung diseases (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, cystic fibrosis), lung cancer.
  • Expertise in key disease processes across the life-course (e.g. asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, and intensive care in children and adults).
  • An excellent inter-disciplinary research environment: collaborations with engineers, chemists, mathematicians, psychologists, respectively to build novel methods for study of disease ex vivo (experiments on relevant tissue outside the body), discover and test new chemicals to intervene in critical disease pathways, develop new mathematical models to group different types of data and thereby identify and elucidate the mechanisms of new types of disease groups, and develop psychological interventions to improve management of chronic diseases.
  • Close collaboration between basic and clinician scientists, ensuring availability of patient samples to study disease mechanisms from both a scientific and clinical perspective. This provides excellent opportunities for trainee scientists and clinicians to learn about each other’s areas of interest.

Data Science

  • Integrating omics data for personalized medicine
  • NHS data standards for research
  • Machine learning approaches to disease stratification
  • Ethical impacts of research using data
  • Microbial Science
  • Experimental human challenge: design, recruitment and procedures
  • Microbiome analysis
  • Experimental models of human infection
  • Biofilm measurement and manipulation

Behavioural Science

  • Expertise in digital intervention development and testing
  • Skills in running effective PPI
  • Experience of research in educational environments
  • Training in skills to support behaviour change in individuals and organisations

Main themes:

Nutrition and Respiratory health

The centre has two main, linked, themes:

1) Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health, for further information please contact Dr Mark Johnson (m.johnson@soton.ac.uk)

2) Respiratory and Critical Care, for further information please contact Dr Karl Staples (k.staples@soton.ac.uk).

We provide a vibrant environment supported by enthusiastic and caring supervisors and an effective mentorship scheme.

Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health.The Lifecourse Nutrition, Lifestyle and Health theme addresses major challenges to our nation's health including childhood obesity, liver disease and alcohol-related illness, cancer linked to obesity and healthy ageing. Work in this theme examines these issues at three stages of life:

1) Early life, from before pregnancy to adolescence

2) Adulthood

3) Older age.

For further information, contact Professor Keith Godfrey (kmg@mrc.soton.ac.uk).

Respiratory and Critical Care

The Respiratory and Critical Care Theme addresses common problems that affect millions of people like asthma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), tackles rare lung diseases for which therapies are limited, and will discover new ways of improving the management of critically ill patients. Work on these topics involves three aspects, from better prevention of disease, through earlier and more accurate diagnoses, to developing treatments personalised to each individual including managing end-of-life care with dignity.

For further information, contact Professor Ratko Djukanovic (R.Djukanovic@soton.ac.uk).

Cross-cutting themes

Three important areas of research are common to our nutrition and respiratory themes:

  • Data science: Using large amounts of clinical and research data to improve treatments and health
  • Microbial science: Fighting microbial infections and overcoming antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • Behavioural science: Supporting people in healthy behaviours and choices

Training in these cross-cutting themes is led by Kay Mitchell (K.Mitchell@soton.ac.uk).

Data science

With patient agreement, we are making the most of patient information available in the NHS system and from research studies. We aim to help doctors make better, faster decisions on individuals’ treatment through new approaches to combining and analysing data from, for example, admissions to hospital, scans, genetic and biochemical results.

For further details, contact Professor Anneke Lucassen (a.lucassen@soton.ac.uk).

Microbial science

A growing number of bacteria and fungi resistant to antibiotic drugs threaten to make currently treatable infections and routine surgery lethal. We’re combining genetic techniques to identify new drugs with an approach exploring use of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut and upper airways to fight infection and improve health. To do this we’ve brought together experts in engineering, microbiology and physical sciences, and initiated ground-breaking studies of infectious diseases.

For further details, contact Professor Rob Read (R.C.Read@soton.ac.uk).

Behavioural science

Supporting people in making choices that improve their health, and that of their families, is critical to well-being and our productivity as a nation. Through a new Centre for Participatory Medicine, we are combining digital, educational and face-to-face methods of offering support into new ways of improving control of respiratory diseases and reducing obesity and malnutrition.

For further details, contact Professor Mary Barker (meb@mrc.soton.ac.uk).

University College London Hospitals BRC

Webpage: http://www.uclhospitals.brc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

UCLH is famous for its world class research with thousands of studies happening at any one time and some 12,000 of our patients taking part in clinical trials. Some of our research is experimental medicine, which looks at the causes of disease, how certain treatments work and whether they are safe. Some of our patients have been the first in the world to receive treatments. We also carry out clinical trials which test the effectiveness of new drugs in a large number of people. This will be to see if a new treatment really is better than current treatments.

Our UCLH BRC research themes are comprehensive and internationally recognised:

  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Inflammation, Immunity and Immunotherapeutics
  • Neurological disease
  • Dementia
  • Mental health
  • Obesity
  • Oral health and disease
  • Deafness and hearing

These research themes are underpinned by cross-cutting themes:

  • Healthcare Engineering and Imaging
  • Healthcare Informatics, Genomics/Omics, Data Science
  • Education – the BRC Experimental Medicine Academy
  • Patient and Public Involvement, Engagement and Communications

Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs)

ARC East Midlands

Webpage: www.arc-em@nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Multimorbidity
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Building Community Resilience and Enabling Independence (Stroke, Frailty, Care Homes, Social Care, Emergency Services)
  • Translating and Implementing Sustainable Service Improvements (implementation science)
  • Data2Health (including the Real world evidence unit)
  • Ethnicity and Health Inequalities (including the Centre for BME Health)

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Centre for Black and Minority Ethnic Health (specialising in community engagement / research in traditionally seldom heard populations)
    The Implementation Hub (operational implementation – actually working to get innovation into practice - more like commercial marketing than implementation research)
  • East Midlands Research into Ageing Network (EMRAN)
  • Varied research programmes and access to international experts and advisors in multimorbidity, diabetes, BAME populations, mental health, stroke, frailty, plus e-health / digital health and implementation science.

ARC East of England

Webpage: https://arc-eoe.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Ageing and Multimorbidity;
  • Mental Health over the Life Course;
  • Population Evidence and Data Science;
  • Prevention and Early Detection in Health and Social Care;
  • Palliative and End of Life Care;

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Health Economics and Prioritisation in Health and Social Care;
  • Inclusive Involvement in Research for Practice Led Health and Social Care;

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Cross-sector work to improve health outcomes of people with complex health and social care needs (e.g. dementia), including optimisation of medicines and palliative and end of life care;
  • Research with care homes;
  • Investigating costs and outcomes of treatment and care options to help people make better decisions, including development of methods;
  • Working inclusively with people: to design, carry out, share and implement research findings;
  • Bringing together physical and mental health services; investigation of children’s and young people’s emotional and wellbeing problems that continue into adulthood;
  • Investigating inequalities in palliative and end of life care provision, including out-of-hours care;
  • Data access, use and linkage: establishment and use of linked datasets to inform population health research, including vulnerable populations;
  • Addressing Inequalities and Systems and determinants of health, care and wellbeing with focus on a) Diet, obesity and malnutrition; b) Infection control; c) Cancer; d) Carers’ health.

ARC Greater Manchester

Webpage: https://www.arc-gm.nihr.ac.uk

ARC Kent Surrey and Sussex

Webpage: https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/research-arc-kss

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused on the following areas:

  • Social care - person-centred, community based social care
  • Starting Well - early detection and Intervention of Mental Health Problems in Children and Young People
  • Primary and Community Health Services - sustainable and integrated care focusing on people with chronic conditions and marginalised groups
  • Dementia - living Well with Dementia
  • Co-production - involving and working with patients and the public to produce relevant research
  • Public Health - improving health and reducing need among older patients with multiple conditions and younger people at time of transition
  • Digital Innovation - harnessing digital technology to help create a sustainable health and social care system
  • Health and Social Care Economics - using best practice to efficiently fund health and social care services of benefit to patients

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

In line with our research themes, we have significant expertise in these areas, in addition to expertise in the following:

  • Social care and social work – including experience of collaborating with Local Authorities in relation to research related to the care sector and person-centred care
  • Public health research – in particular interest in looked after children, community approaches and migrant communities
  • Children’s and young peoples’ mental health
  • Dementia
  • Health and social care economics
  • Co-production of research
  • Rapid evaluation and implementation science   

Industry Collaborations:

We have links with ARC KSS partners and within our research themes with expertise in digital innovation in particular for Dementia, children and young people's mental health, primary and community care and social care. We are also interested in working with integrated data, public health and local communities to support place-based research focused on need and health inequalities.

ARC North East and North Cumbria

Webpage: https://arc-nenc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Multimorbidity, Ageing and Frailty
  • Supporting Children and Families
  • Prevention, Early Intervention and Behaviour Change
  • Integrating Physical, Mental Health and Social Care

Cross-Cutting Research Themes

  • Inequalities and Marginalised Communities
  • Evaluating Change with Pace and Scale
  • Knowledge Mobilisation/Implementation Science

Area of interest / focus

  • Shared Decision Making
  • Alcohol harm reduction
  • Dementia, with a focus on excellence in care for those living with dementia, their families, friends and carers.
  • Stroke, especially hyperacute services
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • Analysis and interpretation of ‘big’ data
  • Implementation science
  • Evaluation science
  • Assistive Technologies/Data Linkage

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Shared Decision Making
  • Alcohol harm reduction
    Dementia, with a focus on excellence in care for those living with dementia, their families, friends and carers
  • Stroke, especially hyperacute services
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • Public involvement & community engagement
  • Analysis and interpretation of ‘big’ data
  • Implementation science
  • Evaluation science
  • Experience of collaborating with Local Authorities to improve health and reduce health inequalities
  • Working with commissioners and primary care to understand their research and evidence needs

Industry Collaborations:

  • The NENC ARC is building on the AHSN NENC Innovation Pathway, which was created to support ideas from development to commercialisation and provide healthcare sector access for SMEs, and has been implemented at scale with >200 SME contacts. Work is ongoing to link the work of the  ARC themes with these SME contacts.
  • MedConnect North is a regional AHSN/CRN/NHS collaboration providing expert advice and signposting along the Pathway.
  • Partnership with AIMES Technology Ltd, an industry leading commercial data centre service provider, with a head office based in the North West of England, brings real time patient/client data flow, which will facilitate ARC research and be evaluated for care impact.
  • Silverlink Software and Cleric Computer Services Ltd created an individual patient data gateway between North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Northumbria Healthcare through an AHSN quality improvement initiative, which will assist care pathway optimisation by Integration.

ARC North Thames

Webpage: www.arc-nt.nihr.ac.uk

ARC North Thames works with academics, NHS and local authority partners, industry partners, patients and the public to conduct innovative applied health research and to support its implementation for the direct benefit of patients, the wider population and the NHS in our region and nationally.

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Mental Health
  • Multi-morbidity
  • Population Health and Social Care
  • Innovation and Implementation Science
  • Health Economics and Data

We have also been designated national ARC lead for population health.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Health economics
  • Qualitative research
  • Using research evidence effectively
  • Digital health
  • Analysing healthcare data / Big data
  • Operational research   
  • Patient, public and community involvement

Our website has details about the work we do, and please do get in touch for more information or to discuss potential placements.

ARC North West Coast

Webpage: https://arc-nwc.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Equitable place-based health and care - Working with local systems to integrate health and social care to enable them to operate more responsively to the needs of people, communities and places.
  • Improving population health – Supports cost effective implementation through the rapid evaluation of natural experiments, modelling the likely impact of alternative policy options and developing practical tools for implementation.
  • Person-centred complex care - Addressing common health and social care problems, focussing on the delivery of care in complex environments for people with chronic conditions and multi-morbidity.
  • Health and care across the life course - Developing collaborative programmes where life stages or circumstances are the focus of interest and implementation with a focus on health inequalities.

Cross-cutting themes

  • Care and Health Informatics - Building data science infrastructure, skills, and capacity.
  • Methodological Innovation, Development, Adaptation and Support – Methodological support underpinning all our applied research in health, wellbeing and social care.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

In addition to the work of our research and cross-cutting themes, we also support our Members via the following teams, resources and public involvement experience:

  • The Implementation and Capacity Building (IMPACT) Team, supports the implementation of ARC Member initiatives using robust research methods. We also support the training and development of Member employees through our internships and other training programmes, postgraduate research training and the development of NIHR Fellowship funding applications.
  • ARC NWC aims to ensure that all of our activities have the potential to contribute to reducing inequalities in health. We have a body of expertise in all aspects of addressing health inequalities including development of a Health Inequalities Assessment Tool (HIAT) https://www.hiat.org.uk/
  • Public participation is a priority for ARC NWC, facilitated by our Public Advisor Forum. Public members/patients are embedded within all research and implementation projects, and we engage with and involve the public in all activities.

Industry Collaborations:

We have developed a programme of work on the investigation and detection of cryptogenic stroke (ID-CRYPT), with industry partnership from Medtronic UK and Ireland and from iRhythm (https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.027123)

ARC North West London

Webpage: https://www.arc-nwl.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Child population health
  • Digital health
  • Multimorbidity and frailty
  • Innovation and evaluation

Cross-cutting Research Themes include:

  • Collaborative learning and capacity building
  • Information and intelligence
  • Patient, public, community engagement and involvement 

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Expertise in Public Health
  • Expertise in Primary Care
  • Expertise in analysis, interpretation and use of ‘big’ data
  • Expertise in reverse and frugal innovation
  • Using advanced statistical models to understand patient level and general practice level predictors of vaccine uptake.
  • Advanced statistical models to predict an individual person's: future need for social care, care home admission, and escalation of social care utilisation.
  • Improvement and evaluation networks.
  • Capacity building in innovation and quality improvement.
  • Engagement and involvement of patients, carers and community in applied health research.
  • Supporting digital health evolution and making best use of data.

Industry Collaborations:

Third sector and industry partnerships - Experience in developing and delivering partnership programs including the NIHR ARC NWL Improvement Leader Fellowship program and partnership activities with charities such as sickle cell society and industry partners OCB Media and Alivecor. 

ARC Oxford and the Thames Valley

Webpage: www.arc-oxtv.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The Oxford and the Thames Valley Applied Research Collaboration work with local and national partners to address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges faced by the health and care system, including;

  • Dementia
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Obesity
  • Mental health

Our website has details about the research areas we are involved with and links to the research groups involved. Please get in touch for more information or to discuss potential placements.

Email: arc-otv@nihr.ac.uk

ARC South London

Webpage: https://www.arc-sl.nihr.ac.uk/research-and-implementation/our-research-areas/maternity-and-perinatal-mental-health

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Maternity Care
  • Perinatal Mental Health
  • Health Services Research (Implementation & Improvement)
  • COVID-19 and Maternity Care

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Health Inequalities (including ethnic disparities in health)
  • Multi-Morbidity

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Mixed Methods
  • Qualitative Research
  • Analysis and interpretation of ‘big’ data (electronic health records)
  • Cross-disciplinary research team bringing together both clinicians and academic researchers
  • Evaluation of Complex Interventions
  • Implementation and Improvement Research
  • Training in multiple qualitative methodologies, research practice, and analysis of sensitive qualitative data (i.e. stillbirth; attempted suicide)
  • Experience of collaborating with national and local charities and support organisations in relation to research design, collection, analysis and dissemination
  • We have a strong emphasis on co-production of research with an established Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement [PPIE] group

Collaborations:

Various maternity and perinatal mental health charities such as:

  • Tommy’s
  • Sands
  • International Stillbirth Alliance
  • Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • Bipolar UK
  • Birthrights
  • Birth Trauma Association

These are examples of charities with whom we have worked.  For example, this can include being involved in the development of research projects across maternity care and perinatal mental health.  These charities may also provide expert opinion or advice on various areas of research interest, whilst potentially contributing to PPIE meetings to discuss the design, collection, analysis, and write-up of projects. They may also assist in recruiting to our research and disseminating our results.

ARC South West Peninsula

Webpage: https://www.arc-swp.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Complex care
  • Dementia
  • Mental Health
  • Public Health
  • Methods for Research and Improvement

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Ageing and rehabilitation
  • Undertaking research with care homes
  • Child health
  • Dementia
  • Developing and analysing cluster RCTs
  • Evidence synthesis
  • Operational research and modelling
  • Implementation
  • PPI

ARC Wessex

Webpage: http://www.arc-wx.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Ageing and Dementia (National ARC Lead)
  • Healthy Communities
  • Long Term Conditions

Cross-cutting theme

  • Workforce and Health Systems.

Our researchers are based across the region at the University of Southampton, University of Portsmouth, University of Winchester and Bournemouth University and embedded in health and care providers.

Please contact the ARC Wessex central team as a first point of contact via email at arcwessex@soton.ac.uk.

ARC West

Webpage: https://arc-w.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Covid 19 response
  • Healthier childhoods
  • Optimal and Integrated Care
  • Mental Health
  • Public Health and Prevention

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Applied data science
  • Behavioural and qualitative science
  • Evidence
  • Health economics

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Healthier childhoods: working with colleagues in primary care, child health, child and adolescent mental health, children’s social care, as well as police and schools, we will build the evidence base to enable frontline services, working with children and their families, to reduce the harm caused by childhood adversity and deprivation.
  • Optimal and Integrated Care. With limited budgets and resources, health and care has to become cost-effective yet fair, reaching the right people at the right time.
  • Mental health determines how we think, feel, behave and relate to others. Our theme undertakes research that aims to improve mental health and reduce unintended harm in the care of people with mental health problems.
  • Public health and prevention. This theme is focused on communities and a wide range of organisations, not just the NHS, including local authorities and communities. This theme undertakes research that helps prevent illness, keeping people healthier for longer.

ARC West Midlands

Webpage: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/support/collaborating-in-applied-health-research.htm

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Long Term Conditions
  • Acute Care Interfaces
  • Youth Mental Health
  • Maternity

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Organisational Science
  • Methodology, Informatics and Rapid Response
  • Public Health
  • Social Care

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Care home safety
  • Musculo-skeletal conditions
  • Provision of acute care at home
  • Emergency care and urgent care
  • System change and improvement in Maternity
  • Mental health in school-age children
  • Organisational change
  • Informatics
  • Analysis and interpretation of ‘big’ data
  • Public health
  • Adult social care

Industry Collaborations:

  • New strategic partnerships with pharma companies
  • Ongoing collaborations with digital systems providers

ARC Yorkshire and Humber

Webpage: https://www.arc-yh.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Clinical research themes:

  • Health Childhood
  • Mental Health and Comorbidity
  • Older people
  • Urgent care

Cross-cutting themes:

  • Health Economics
  • Improvement science

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Modelling and health economics
  • Big data
  • Real world data linkage and use
  • Trials within cohort (Mental health, Older Adults and children and families)
  • Behaviour change of clinicians ( linking to patient safety)
  • We have a unique and huge dataset in the Born in Bradford (BiB) and BiB4All
  • Frailty

Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs)

HPRU Behavioural Science and Evaluation

Webpage: http://hprubse.nihr.ac.uk/

HPRU Blood Borne and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Webpage: http://bbsti.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Theme A. Understanding risk and risk reduction for STIs and BBVs

The overarching strategy of this theme is to use behavioural, clinical and molecular data to: profile transmission networks of STIs, BBVs and associated AMR/AVR; understand the characteristics that facilitate and sustain epidemics in sexual networks; and guide development of tailored, timely and effective interventions.

  • Theme B: Reducing the burden of undiagnosed STIs and BBVs

The overarching strategy of this theme is to develop and evaluate evidence-based STI/BBV interventions and diagnostic/laboratory tools to reach undiagnosed individuals

  • Theme C: Improving the care and management of people with STIs and BBVs

The overarching strategy of this theme is to identify, understand and manage factors influencing uptake of healthcare interventions, continuity-in-care and outcomes in persons with STIs/BBVs

Cross cutting themes:

  • Behaviour change
  • Knowledge mobilisation
  • Health economics

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Cohort studies and data analysis
  • Data science
  • Surveillance data

HPRU Chemical Radiation Threats and Hazards

Webpage: https://crth.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The work of the unit is organised into four complementary research themes:

  • Theme 1 - Adverse outcome pathways and exposure-response relationships for ionising and non-ionising radiation

Studying the health effects of exposure to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation in specific population groups

  • Theme 2 - Biomarkers of exposure, effects and susceptibility to chemicals and radiation

Studying the biochemical and mechanistic pathways linking exposure to chemicals and ionizing radiation to adverse health effects

  • Theme 3 - In vitro testing and integration with epidemiological data

Studying the processes involved in cellular effects of exposure to chemical carcinogens and ionising radiation and whether these exposure signatures can be used to identify causal agents in population studies

  • Theme 4 - Neurotoxins and high toxicity agents

Studying the mechanisms of neurotoxicity of certain high toxicity chemicals and the design of molecules that simulate or efficiently absorb and decompose high toxicity agents to develop safe decontamination protocols

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

The Unit brings together multidisciplinary expertise in:

  • Epidemiology - including large cohort studies, molecular and genetic epidemiology, spatial epidemiology, small area health studies
  • Exposure assessment - including monitoring and modelling
  • Cell- and molecular-biology – including analyses of mutational signatures, biomarker identification and validation, ‘omics’ studies
  • Radiobiology – including dosimetry, exposure assessment, biological effects of ionising and non-ionising radiations
  • Chemistry – including analytical chemistry, theoretical chemistry, chemical risk assessment
  • Toxicology – including mechanistic toxicology, environmental toxicology, microbiome mediated toxicity
  • Biostatistics and data sciences – including method development for analysis of complex biological datasets, computational biology, machine learning, modelling
  • Risk assessment, mitigation and policy translation

Industry Collaborations:

The four partners in this HPRU (ICL, KCL, PHE and UC) have well established collaborations for research on health risks of chemical and radiation hazards including through the current Environmental Exposures and Health HPRU, MRC Centre for Environment and Health (MRC CEH) (ICL) and a joint Rutherford fellowship programme in toxicology (ICL, UC).

In addition, they have a number of active collaborations with research, industry, regulatory and policy partners which include a growing portfolio of industrial partnerships for research on COVID and on environmental risk assessment and management of chemical risks in the environment. For more information on these collaborations and partnerships please refer to the institutional websites:

http://www.environment-health.ac.uk/

https://eeh.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/school-public-health/epidemiology-and-biostatistics

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/school-public-health/environmental-research-group

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sphes/our-departments/aes/analytical-environmental-forensic-sciences

https://www.mrc-tox.cam.ac.uk/

https://www.phe-protectionservices.org.uk/radiationeffects/

HPRU Emergency Preparedness and Response

Webpage: http://epr.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research focuses on four themes:

  • 'Novel Technologies' will explore how AI and ‘big data’ can support PHE’s ability to identify sudden health changes in the community that suggest an underlying issue. It will also map how complex emergencies involving multiple, interacting problems can affect health.
  • Preparedness' will develop our research on improving PHE’s programme of emergency exercises. We will also test ways to help PHE educate the public about risks that would have a severe impact if they occurred, such as chemical terrorism.
  • 'Resilience' will identify ways for PHE to protect public mental health after a crisis, by developing and testing short training packages to help teachers and line managers support children and employees.
  • 'Response' will improve PHE’s efficiency in responding to emergencies by pre-preparing evidence-based answers to the urgent behavioural science questions and developing techniques to measure how the public react to an emergency.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Expertise in Psychiatry and behavioural Science
  • Knowledge mobilisation and translation and research finding.
  • Engagement of policy makers
  • Expertise in infectious disease epidemiology and public health
  • Expertise in the running, and fully appraising, emergency exercises for a large variety of potential public health scenarios
  • Using syndromic surveillance (and other public health datasets) for the early detection of and situational awareness of outbreaks / incidents
  • Use of big data in public health
  • Systematic reviewing (especially rapid reviews) and meta analyses

HPRU Emerging and Zoonotic Infections

Webpage: http://hpruezi.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

We address key emerging and zoonotic threats.

Our research programme has four major themes:

  • Patient Research for Public Health
  • Diagnostics and Host Response
  • Pathogen and Vector Biology
  • Epidemiology and Risk Analysis

Cross-cutting research themes include:

  • Knowledge Mobilisation
  • Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

The major programmes of interlinked projects are:

  • High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCIDs)
  • Imported mosquito-borne infections, such as Zika and dengue, which can have severe neurological complications
  • Tick-borne diseases in the UK such as Lyme
  • COVID-19

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Emerging infections, especially arboviruses, respiratory viruses, haemorrhagic fever viruses and those affecting the nervous system
  • Epidemic diseases research
  • Global health
  • Clinical tropical medicine
  • Vaccine development
  • Proteomics
  • High-throughput genomics including pathogen discovery
  • Applied statistics and modelling methodologies
  • Diagnostics
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Veterinary epidemiology
  • Microbiome research
  • Vector biology
  • Public health and policy
  • Global outbreak alert and response social science research
  • Immunology

Industry Collaborations:

  • Diagnostics collaborations – Experience in developing COVID-19 diagnostic test in partnership with industry partner Mologic.
  • Vaccines collaboration – Experience in developing vaccines for flaviviruses such as Zika with industry partner Immunitrack.

For more information contact: hpruezi@liverpool.ac.uk.

HPRU Environmental Change and Health

Webpage: https://www.hpru-ech.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:HP RU in Environmental Change and Health provides research to support decision-making relating to the impacts and responses to the environmental changes that affect our health. Environmental change includes climate change, land-use change, environmental degradation, and the loss of ecosystem services, in the UK and beyond. We help Public Health England (PHE) to fulfil its requirements under the UK’s National Adaptation Programme and other policies on sustainable development.

The HPRU also produces research of relevance to other government departments regarding the health co-benefits of environmental policies.

Research is organised into three interconnected themes:

  • Theme 1 - Climate Resilience
  • Theme 2 - Healthy Sustainable Cities
  • Theme 3 - Health and the Natural Environment

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Environmental public health
  • Climate change and health research
  • Building physics and the environment
  • Health economics
  • Food and nutrition research
  • Biostatistics
  • Planetary health
  • System dynamics
  • Meteorology and climatology
  • Surveillance and environmental public health tracking
  • Spatial data modelling
  • Natural environment
  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Infectious disease outbreaks

HPRU Environmental Exposure and Health (Imperial)

Webpage: https://eeh.hpru.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Theme I - Assessment of Population Exposures

Exposures to toxicants from all environmental sources and consumer products in different populations

  • Model development to predict exposure
  • Public perception of risk from these toxicants
  • How are potential risks best communicated?

Theme II – Air Pollution and Health

Looking at the Impacts of air pollution on:

  • birth outcomes
  • cognitive development
  • mental health
  • dementia in later life
  • school children’s neurodevelopment and overall health
  • London Underground
  • Does the ULEZ mitigate against any adverse effects?

Theme III – Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect

  • What biomarkers emerge following acute exposure to different air pollutants?
  • Do they discriminate between different sources?
  • Toxicological relevance of non-exhaust PM emissions

Relative toxicities of:

  • exhaust PM and NO2
  • e-cigarette components

Theme IV – Emerging Environmental Issues and Preparedness

  • Microplastics

Health impacts of:

  • living near biomass electricity generating installations
  • exposure to waste fire emissions

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

In summary we utilise recently improved exposure assessment methods including data geocoding and linkage along with ‘omic technologies to produce an integrated approach to environmental health research and risk assessment.

  • Aerosol Science - highly time-resolved measurements of aerosol physical and chemical characteristics.
  • Analytical Chemistry - sources, fate and effects of chemical contaminants in our environment.
  • Environmental Toxicology - the mechanisms by which air pollution impacts on human respiratory health.
  • Exposure Science - characterization of individual and population-level exposures, how this relates to the health of susceptible population subgroups and methods of public health improvement.
  • Modelling - dispersion models for assessing human exposure to investigate the spatio-temporal association between air quality and a range of health outcomes.
  • Microplastics - human exposure and impacts.
  • Bioaerosols, epigenetics, reproductive and regulatory toxicology.
  • In-vitro systems for assessing toxicity of chemical pollutants to the respiratory tract.
  • Occupational and environmental epidemiology and risk assessment.
  • Novel models and methods to assess particulate/allergen/nanomaterial hazard, including the use of transcriptomic data in experimental modelling.
  • Human biomonitoring studies.
  • Health impact assessment.

Industry Collaborations:

The four partners in this HPRU have well established collaborations for research on health risks of chemical and radiation hazards including through the current Environmental Exposures and Health HPRU (ICL, KCL, PHE and UC), MRC Centre for Environment and Health (MRC CEH) (ICL) and a joint Rutherford fellowship programme in toxicology (ICL, UC).

In addition, they have a number of active collaborations with research, industry, regulatory and policy partners which include a growing portfolio of industrial partnerships for research on COVID and on environmental risk assessment and management of chemical risks in the environment. For more information please on these refer to the institutional websites:

http://www.environment-health.ac.uk/

https://eeh.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/school-public-health/epidemiology-and-biostatistics

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/school-public-health/environmental-research-group

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sphes/our-departments/aes/analytical-environmental-forensic-sciences

https://www.mrc-tox.cam.ac.uk/

https://www.phe-protectionservices.org.uk/radiationeffects/

HPRU Environmental Exposure and Health (Leicester University)

Webpage: https://eeh.hpru.nihr.ac.uk

HPRU Gastrointestinal Infections

Webpage: http://www.hprugi.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme in Gastrointestinal Infections comprises of four themes:

  • People and Places (investigating the drivers of high burden of GI disease among disadvantaged communities)
  • Data and Informatics (exploring data and digital innovations to strengthen GI surveillance and outbreak investigation)
  • Pathogens and Microbiomes (evaluating and deploying state of the art molecular approaches to diagnose and control GI infections)
  • Predict and Prevent (integrating complex data sources for translation into predictive tools for GI disease control)

Cross-cutting research themes include:

  • Health inequalities
  • Patient and public involvement and engagement
  • Knowledge mobilisation
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Digital health
  • Health economics

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Pathogen genomics
  • Microbiome analysis
  • Epidemiology and data sciences
  • Quantitative sciences applied to infectious diseases
  • Applied public health research
  • Patient and public involvement and engagement
  • Health inequalities and policy
  • Vaccine trials and implementation
  • Outbreak investigation and conducting research in outbreaks
  • Public health microbiology
  • Health economic aspects of infectious disease control

Industry Collaborations:

  • Life Sciences Collaborations - experience in conducting surveillance, clinical studies and trials of rotavirus vaccine with industry partners including GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals and Merck (e.g. https://www.eurorotanet.com/)
  • Food Industry Collaborations – with supermarket retailers and poultry producers (e.g. campylobacter infections). Food Standards Agency and Animal and Plant Health Agency collaborations (e.g. One Health approaches to antibiotic resistance in the food chain).

HPRU Genomics and Enabling Data

Webpage: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/hpruged

HPRU Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (Imperial College London)

Webpage: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/hpru-amr/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our Unit aims to address the challenge of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) through four themes:

  • Priority Pathogens investigates how and why microbes become resistant, why in some species or sub-groups more than others, how to detect which infections are drug resistant and why some patient groups are more at risk than others.
  • Precision Prescribing aims to optimise antimicrobial prescribing by tailoring prescribing to the individual and the infection.
  • Practice, design and engineering is exploring the use of intelligent design, including considering redesigning the ways in which information is captured or presented to improve practice and behaviour, physical environments and patient pathways.
  • Population health and policy links large local and national health datasets to develop methods and tools for understanding risk at a population level and where to target action. It also evaluates the impact of policies and interventions, including any unintended consequences

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

The ethos of the Unit is that different skills are required to answer the range of questions which need to be addressed in order to tackle HCAIs and AMR.  As such it is highly multidisciplinary and multi-professional in nature, bringing together researchers and health professionals from a range of disciplines. 

Areas of expertise include:

  • Molecular microbiology.
  • Data-linkage and analysis and interpretation of ‘big’ data.
  • Behavioural science and clinical decision making.
  • Antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention.
  • Development of technologies to support clinical decision making, including the application of artificial intelligence.
  • Early phase clinical trials of new technologies.
  • Development of mathematical models for the surveillance of infectious disease.
  • Development of rapid diagnostics for infectious disease and resistance.

Industry Collaborations:

Life Sciences Collaborations:

  • Experience in developing novel microneedle-based biosensor technology to enable individualised real-time antimicrobial dose monitoring of antibiotics, followed by further development and evaluation as part of iCASE PhD with Shionogi.
  • Various projects around developing diagnostics for infectious disease, which have companies as project partners (e.g. Thermo Fisher Scientific – dengue,  Ceva Animal Health UK - point-of-care diagnostics for lung pathogens on pigs, GlaxoSmithKline plc, Mologic Limited and MinoHealth - Digital Diagnostics for Africa Network, bioMe´rieux, Skyline Dx and Micropathology Ltd – personalised molecular testing for serious illness.) 

HPRU Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (University of Oxford)

Webpage: http://modmedmicro.nsms.ox.ac.uk/hpru/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The HPRU studies antibiotic resistance and health care associated infections  (AR/HAI) together with developing sequencing techniques to characterize pathogens. Studies of populations affected by AR/HAI.

  • Develop interventions to reduce AR/HAI
  • ‘Contexts’ - understand how AR/HAI can be affected by within hospital and community environment
  • Genetic sequencing - determine the genetic causes of resistance.
  • Sequencing analysis - develop the facility to undertake large scale sequencing
  • Techniques to sequence pathogens without culture.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Clinical epidemiology
  • Big data and data linkage
  • Interventional studies
  • Large scale genetic sequencing of pathogens
  • Analysis of sequencing data allowing diagnosis, resistance determination and inference of transmission networks
  • Developing and evaluating new rapid tests for pathogens.

Industry Collaborations:

Experience with working with Thermofisher and Oxford Nanopore in developing diagnostic methods for pathogens.

HPRU Modelling and Health Economics

Webpage: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/hpru-modelling-healtheconomics/

HPRU Respiratory Infections

Webpage: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/nihr-hpru-respiratory-infections

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Respiratory Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
  • Epidemiology
  • Virology
  • Public Health

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Expertise in surveillance and analytics of respiratory infectious diseases
  • Expertise in mathematical modelling
  • Expertise in big data and clinical informatics
  • Expertise in health systems research
  • Analysis and interpretation of Next Generation Sequencing data
  • Basic immunological and vaccine research
  • Clinical and observational epidemiological studies
  • Experience conducting projects in collaboration with civil society organizations, community member and patients

Industry Collaborations:

Life Sciences Collaborations - Strong track-record of creating patented inventions that have transformed clinical practice and public health policy internationally, including the interferon-gamma release-assay (IGRA) blood test.

HPRU Vaccines and Immunisation

Webpage: http://immunisation.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Theme 1 – Making the most of real-world data: This theme aims to increase vaccine coverage and support a data-driven immunisation programme by making the most of digital technologies and linked electronic health records.
  • Theme 2 – Saving lives, optimising taxpayers' investment: This theme uses models of vaccine-preventable diseases to inform: (i) JCVI decisions about new vaccine introductions and alterations to the existing schedule; (ii) vaccine procurement; and (iii) making the public health and economic case for investment in robust vaccine programmes
  • Theme 3 – Immunisation delivery systems and public interactions with vaccines: This theme uses qualitative and mixed methods approaches to examine how immunisation systems work, and evaluate public responses to vaccination programmes.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

Expertise in:

  • Epidemiology of vaccines and vaccine-preventable infectious disease
  • Vaccine delivery systems
  • Vaccine confidence monitoring

Experience in:

  • Qualitative or mixed methods research
  • Mathematical modelling of infectious disease
  • Analysis of linked electronic health record datasets
  • Medical statistics
  • Health economics
  • Health systems research
  • Development and evaluations of interventions
  • Media monitoring

Skills in:

  • Public and patient involvement, engagement, and participation (PPIEP)
  • Knowledge mobilisation of research findings
  • Engagement of policy makers

Collaborations:

Vaccine policy and delivery partners: The HPRU in Immunisation is a partnership between Public Health England and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge. We have close links with stakeholders in immunisation policy (such as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), vaccine safety (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) and delivery (NHS England and immunisation service providers).

Patient Safety Translational Research Centres (PSTRCs)

Greater Manchester PSTRC

Webpage: http://www.patientsafety.manchester.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Medication Safety: hazardous prescribing, electronic audit and feedback (e-A&F) for trainee GPs; patient safety toolkit for community pharmacies; medicines optimisation involving electronic referral of patients from hospital to community pharmacists.
  • Safer Care Systems and Transitions: Safer Mental Health Transitions; Safer Transitions in Elderly Long-term Care Facilities including infection prevention control; reducing suicidal ideation and behaviour; and public adherence to government instructions (vital during Covid19)
  • Marginalised Groups 1: Mental Health: Psychosocial assessments and psychological therapies following self-harm; Safer components of mental health services in relation to suicide risk. 2: Patients & Carers: Homelessness and patient safety; Patient Safety Guide for patients & carers; people living with early stage dementia
  • Safety Informatics: Safety Medication Dashboard (SMASH) on hazardous prescribing; Performance Improvement plaN GeneratoR (PINGR) - population health analytics tool focusing on long-term conditions; Managed follow-up of long-term lymphoma survivors (with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust).

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

Focuses on patient safety in primary care and community settings and in care transitions (i.e. hospital to general practice, to home or care home, and to community pharmacy).

  • Develops and tests new digital and behavioural science approaches or interventions using co-design with patients/carers and health and social care staff with PPI-E integral to all that we do.
  • Works at the ‘first translational gap’ looking at and learning from innovative and exploratory initiatives before roll-out. Working in or affiliated to GM PSTRC is a wide variety of conceptual, methodological, analytical, empirical and technical expertise including qualitative and working with ‘big’ data (e.g. CPRD).
  • Marginalised groups across GM PSTRC but key projects look at homelessness, dementia and self-harm.
  • Our informatics/digital research focuses on system-wide primary care quality management across the Greater Manchester conurbation.

Industry Collaborations:

Work in partnership with charities as well as industry with examples including:

Charities:

  • The Museum of Homelessness
  • Suicide Bereavement UK
  • Groundswell & Shelter (homelessness)

Industry:

  • Lloyds community pharmacies
  • Graphnet Health Ltd
  • Hearing Industry Research Consortium comprising five leading manufacturers of hearing healthcare products
  • Maldaba on MyHealthGuide for dementia
  • Spectra Analytics, a start-up company that specializes in application of AI

Imperial PSTRC

Webpage: https://imperialbrc.nihr.ac.uk/

Yorkshire and Humber PSTRC

Webpage: http://yhpstrc.org/

Based across the University of Leeds and the Bradford Institute for Health Research, we are a multi-disciplinary group of researchers, clinicians and patient representatives, whose aim it is to develop innovative solutions to patient safety problems. 

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Patient and family involvement in patient safety
  • Workforce well-being and patient safety
  • Positive deviance approaches and methods
  • Digital and novel technological solutions to improve patient safety
  • Experience-based co-design as applied to healthcare improvement
  • Medicines optimisation and de-prescribing
  • Supporting transitions across care boundaries for older people
  • Personal resilience and quality and safety
  • Involving patients and families in serious incident investigations

Please contact Dr Beth Fylan, Programme Manager (b.fylan@bradford.ac.uk) or Dr Jane O'Hara, Theme Lead and Training Lead (jane.o'hara@bthft.nhs.uk) to discuss your ideas.

NIHR Schools

School for Primary Care Research

Webpage: https://www.spcr.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The School brings together academics and practitioners from across the country to collaborate on cutting edge, topical primary care studies that have an impact both at policy level and in general practices around the country. Our partners research the entire life cycle of complex interventions.

School research teams involve a range of different disciplines, including clinicians (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dentists), psychologists, epidemiologists, statisticians, sociologists, methodologists (statistics, health economics etc), and patient and public representatives.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

We have significant expertise in the design and conduct of pragmatic clinical trials, patient and public involvement and engagement, using big data (e.g. Clinical Practice Research Datalink), qualitative research methods, e-interventions and systematic reviews and meta-analysis.

We work with populations with the full spectrum of disease. We have specific clinical areas of expertise e.g musculoskeletal, mental health, antibiotic prescribing, dementia, anxiety and depression, behaviour change, patient safety and multi-morbidity.

We welcome applications to work with us at any of our 9 partners. For details about the particular research areas in our partners please see:

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/primaryhealthcare/

https://medicine.exeter.ac.uk/apex/

https://www.keele.ac.uk/pcsc/

https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/research/primary-care/

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/medicine/about/primarycare/index.aspx

https://www.qmul.ac.uk/blizard/research/centres/centre-for-primary-care-and-public-health/

https://www.phc.ox.ac.uk/

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/primarycare/about/index.page

https://www.ucl.ac.uk/epidemiology-health-care/research/pcph

School for Public Health Research

Webpage: www.sphr.nihr.ac.uk

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between eight leading academic centres with excellence in applied public health research in England*. The School aims to build the evidence base for effective public health practice. Our research looks at what works practically to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, can be applied across the country and better meets the needs of policymakers, practitioners and the public. The NIHR SPHR has three research programmes alongside three cross-cutting themes.

Research programmes;

  • Children, young people & families
  • Public mental health
  • Places and communities 

Cross-cutting themes;

  • Health inequalities
  • Changing behaviour at population level
  • Equitable and efficient public health systems

Please contact sphr.training@ncl.ac.uk for further information.

* The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield, Bristol, Cambridge, Imperial and University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); the LiLaC collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster and Fuse; The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities.

School for Social Care Research

Webpage: https://www.sscr.nihr.ac.uk/

The NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) is comprised of research teams in academic units seven universities, namely:

  • Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham (NIHR SSCR Lead, Professor Catherine Needham)
  • School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol (NIHR SSCR Lead, Professor David Abbott)
  • Personal Social Services Research Unit and the Tizard Centre, University of Kent (NIHR SSCR Lead, Dr. Karen Jones)
  • NIHR Health & Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London (NIHR SSCR Lead, Professor Jill Manthorpe)
  • Care Policy and Evaluation Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science (Director of NIHR SSCR, Professor Martin Knapp)
  • Social Care and Society, University of Manchester (NIHR SSCR Lead, Professor Catherine Robinson)
  • Social Policy Research Unit, University of York (Deputy Director of NIHR SSCR, Professor Martin Knapp)

Each team has its own specialisms in terms of foci on adult social care and methodological expertise. These coalesce in overall research themes and programmes for the School, but individuals will most likely want to be located/hosted in one of these seven universities. Potential applicants may either contact the seven universities directly or contact NIHR SSCR centrally for advice on organising a placement.

Centrally and through each of the seven member universities the NIHR SSCR can provide links to the full range of stakeholders in adult social care, including public, private and third sector organisations.

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Adult social care needs (met and unmet), and prevention.
  • Approaches to adult social care and social work practice,
  • The adult social care workforce
  • Care resources
  • Working with communities and other assets:
  • Care systems and markets
  • Diversity, inequality and 'marginalised' communities:
  • Adult social care at the interface with other systems

See the School’s Business plan (https://www.sscr.nihr.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/SSCR-Phase-III-Business-plan.pdf) and current research portfolio (https://www.sscr.nihr.ac.uk/projects/) for more information.

Our cross-cutting themes include:

  • Dementia
  • Mental Health
  • Older People and associated care circumstances (e.g. Frailty)
  • Disabilities
  • Care settings and care pathways (e.g. care homes, home care and discharge pathways)
  • Policy in to practice

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Methodological expertise including qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Economics of care
  • RCTs in social care
  • Expertise in involving stakeholders (e.g. PPIE)
  • Experience of working with complex partnerships across, e.g., interfaces of care, multiple sites, and the mixed market of care provision
  • Expertise in impact across a range of adult social care practice and policy
  • Accessing social care populations
  • Building research capacity in social care

Industry Collaborations:

  • Multiple collaborations across the mixed market of care provision and services including
  • Domiciliary and residential care provider
  • Voluntary sector
  • Financial sector
  • Social enterprise
  • Local Authority’s and social care professional organisations

Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs)

Webpage: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/support/experimental-medicine.htm

NIHR’s 22 Clinical Research Facilities (CRFs) are purpose built facilities in NHS hospitals where researchers can deliver early-phase and complex studies.

The facilities have cutting-edge clinical facilities, technologies and expertise and are designed to support high intensity studies and overnight stays.Whilst CRFs vary due to local need, all will include the following:

  • Outpatient and usually inpatient facilities;
  • Support for high intensity studies;
  • Highly trained dedicated research support and management personnel;
  • Specialist equipment and laboratories to conduct a variety of research studies;
  • Standard Operating Procedures to ensure studies are conducted to GCP/ Research;
  • Governance Framework (and its successor) requirements.

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs)

The NIHR funds 14 Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMCs) across England, in close partnership with Cancer Research UK.

The ECMCs act as an efficient and effective UK-wide network for delivering pioneering, early-phase cancer trials, bringing together world-leading laboratory and clinical researchers to test new treatments for adults and children with cancer.

The network of centres speeds up the process of cancer drug development and the search for biomarkers to diagnose cancer, predict the aggressiveness of the disease, or show whether a drug will be effective.

2 ECMC’s will be participating in the SPARC Round 7 competition; their details are included below:-

Leicester Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (Leicester ECMC)

Webpage: https://www.ecmcnetwork.org.uk/leicester

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus and Expertise:

Leicester ECMC has expertise in developing novel therapeutic strategies to treat cancer, particularly lung cancer and haematological malignancies.

A cornerstone of the Centre’s research is to discover and develop novel phytochemicals as potential cancer chemopreventive agents and/or as potential adjuncts to chemotherapy. Biomarker studies aim to inform treatment decisions and monitor the effectiveness of therapies.

Specific aims of the Leicester ECMC are to:

  • design and implement programmes for clinical development of chemopreventive agents
  • development of the use of biomarkers for detection and monitoring of breast/lung cancers

Industry Collaborations:

The Leicester ECMC has extensive industrial links reflecting its early phase clinical trials activities. These links facilitate detailed translational and reverse translational studies focussing principally on first-in-man and phase 1 clinical studies run out of the Hope Clinical Trials Facility.

The mesothelioma research programme links with industry span bench to bedside translational and investigator initiated clinical trial-based research. Our current bench research partners include Astex Therapeutics,  Boehringer Ingelheim, BMS and Bayer. Clinical trial partners currently include AstraZeneca, Atlas, BerGenBio, BMS, Clovis Oncology, Eli Lilly, GSK/Tesaro, MSD, Novogene, Pierre Fabre,  and Roche/Genentech.

In lymphoid malignancies, the centre has strong links with a number of Pharma including Roche, AZ (iMED postdoc), Gilead, Janssen, Beigene and ASTEX, and includes studies on novel bispecific antibodies and small molecule inhibitors (BTK, BCL2 family etc). As with the mesothelioma programme, clinical studies are supplemented with laboratory investigations involving ctDNA, single cell studies and PDX models.

For further information and if interested in undertaking a SPARC placement at Leicester ECMC please contact: Martin Dyer (mjsd1@leicester.ac.uk).

Newcastle Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (Newcastle ECMC)

Webpage: https://www.ecmcnetwork.org.uk/newcastle

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Our research programme is focused in the areas of:

  • Early phase cancer trial development and delivery
  • Clinical pharmacology – PK assay development and analysis in adult and paediatric cancer trials
  • Pharmacodynamic biomarker assay development and validation for clinical trials
  • Molecular profiling for precision medicine studies

Cross-Cutting Research Themes include:

  • Diagnostics and Biomarkers
  • Trial Design
  • Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:
  • Expertise in cancer trial design
  • Expertise in pharmacokinetic assay development and validation
  • Expertise in pharmacodynamic assay development and validation
  • Expertise in early phase clinical trials including first-in-human
  • Genomic medicine and tumour profiling
  • Excellent PPI engagement and input with training opportunities in this area

Industry Collaborations:

Established collaborations with >30 pharmaceutical companies, including major pharma and small biotechs, working with them to design and deliver early phase trials and cancer biomarkers.

For further information and if interested in undertaking a SPARC placement at Leicester ECMC please contact: Professor Ruth Plummer (ruth.plummer@ncl.ac.uk).

Medtech and In-vitro diagnostics Cooperatives (MICs)

The NIHR funds 11 Medtech and In-vitro diagnostic Cooperatives (MICs) in England. NIHR MICs build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests. Leading NHS organisations act as centres of expertise, bringing together patients, clinicians, researchers, commissioners and industry.

3 MICs will be participating in the SPARC Round 7 competition; their details are included below:-

NIHR Surgical MedTech Co-operative

Webpage: https://surgicalmic.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

Colorectal theme:

  • surgery for colorectal cancer and diverticular disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • benign anorectal conditions
  • pelvic floor disorders  

Vascular theme:

  • peripheral arterial disease (abdominal aortic aneurysm and lower limb ischaemia)
  • thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • novel vascular stents, 3D printing and flexible tubular replicas, automatic 3D segmentation of complex anatomical structures
  • spray technologies for endoluminal thrombolysis
  • novel small-molecules as therapeutic targets in vascular disease
  • virtual vascular suturing, wound management, diabetic foot ulcers

HPB theme:

  • primary and secondary liver cancer
  • hepatocellular and pancreatic cancer
  • gall stone disease and its complications
  • increasing prevalence of pancreatitis due to alcohol abuse.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

Physics and Engineering:

  • nanotechnology-related research in theranostic materials for cancer treatment
  • microfluidics for high throughput single cell phenotyping
  • next generation instruments
  • haptic feedback systems
  • devices for incontinence
  • medical capsule robos for endoscopy

Pathology:

  • digital pathology
  • molecular biology facility
  • access to HTA-accredited human tissue banks
  • GI microbiome research programme
  • new measures of response to neoadjuvant therapy
  • pathological assessment of surgical quality.

Clinical Trials:

  • NCRI accredited and UKCRC Registered Clinical Trials Unit for the design and delivery of innovative early to late phase clinical trials
  • RCS Engl. Surgical Trials Centre (RCS-STC) with clinical themes in colorectal, vascular, HPB, and urological surgery

Health Economics:

  • particular expertise in health economic evaluations of tests and devices.

Business Development and Commercialisation:

  • supporting innovators with market research, event attendance, grant applications and proof-of-concept funding.

Industry Collaborations:

  • AI Tech North - a platform to bring professionals, leaders, and enthusiasts with a common interest in Artificial Intelligence and tech innovations together.
  • Medilink Yorkshire & Humber - we are part of an advisory group and have access to industry from manufacturing to market access.
  • Intuitive Surgical Inc - they continue to support the ‘engineering theme’ with provision of hardware for robotics research facility.
  • Cambridge Medical Robotics - working on robotics training for clinicians and allied health professionals through NIHR AST Incubator.
  • Future Health – partnership to support start-ups/SMEs develop projects and strategy.
  • Empact Ventures – partnership to run a series of industry networking events, co-design tech initiatives in the UK, Ireland and Europe and scout innovations for the Surgical MIC.  
  • Investor Networks - tap into larger funding sources, through their assistance and introductions to their extensive follow-on funding networks.  Identification of mentors to validate technology potential to either identify a clear licensing opportunity or develop a business plan of sufficient quality to justify the creation of a university spinout company requiring seed investment.

For further information and if interested in undertaking a SPARC placement at the NIHR Surgical Med-Tech Cooperative please contact:  Sheila Boyes (surgicalmic@leeds.ac.uk).

NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative

Webpage: https://www.newcastle.mic.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

NIHR Newcastle In -Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative focuses on generating high quality evidence that demonstrates the potential value of a new in-vitro diagnostic test, a test performed on a clinical sample from the patient (e.g. blood, urine, body tissue).  We aim to ensure that better diagnostics are delivered more quickly for the benefit of patients.

We have three research themes:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Ageing and Long-term Chronic Conditions
  • Personalised and Stratified Medicine

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

Working within our three themes, we focus on tests where there are currently unmet clinical needs. We work closely with test developers, offering expertise in these areas:

  • Care Pathway Analysis – a method used to assess the potential added value of a new diagnostic test and where in current healthcare pathways it might have the greatest impact on patients’ health.
  • Early Health Economic Modelling – a method used to assess the potential cost-effectiveness of a new diagnostic test under different scenarios
  • Supporting the design and delivery of clinical studies with protocol development, data management and statistical analysis.

Through this work, we can help diagnostic developers identify the optimal patient population, clinical setting, and role of their test which has the highest potential to produce value for money for the NHS.  This evidence generation can inform further test development and the design of future further research to increase the likelihood that the test will be adopted by the NHS.

We can offer the opportunity to gain experience and develop skills in evaluation and evidence generation, supported by the MIC’s methodological team, who are experts in this area. We also offer the opportunity to work on projects with industry, academics and clinicians.

Industry Collaborations:

We work closely with Northern Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (NMPCE), which includes the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence NICE External Assessment Centre (EAC) who provide independent assessment of the evidence for innovative medical devices. Through these links there may also be opportunity for projects within NMPCE, particularly the EAC.

Newcastle MIC are key partners in Diagnostics North East (DxNE), a network of organisations which lead on the development, evaluation and adoption of diagnostics at all stages. of the development pathway.

We work with the in vitro diagnostic IVD industry and have established partnerships with Small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies.

For further information and if interested in undertaking a SPARC placement at the NIHR Newcastle In-Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative, please contact Newcastle MIC Project Manager: Anna Halstead (anna.halstead@newcastle.ac.uk).

NIHR Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative

Webpage: https://www.brainmic.nihr.ac.uk/

Research Themes and Areas of Interest/Focus:

  • Clinical Themes
  • Prevention and Pre Hospital
  • Neurocritical Care
  • Multi-Modal Monitoring
  • Intracranial Dynamics and Shunt Technology
  • Functional Neuroimaging and Neurophysiology
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Paediatrics and Neurodevelopment
  • Regenerative Neuroscience
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Cognition and Mental Health
  • Neuropsychological Rehabilitation

Core Activities/Cross Cutting Themes

  • Patient and Public Involvement/Engagement
  • Health Economics & Internationalisation
  • MedTech regulatory support
  • Clinical Informatics and registries

Areas of Focus:

  • Identify areas of unmet need throughout the brain injury pathway that might be amenable to a technology-based solutions.
  • Promote the generation of innovative solutions through the facilitation of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration between the NHS, academia, industry and public organisation.
  • Support the translational pathway of viable solutions from initial concept to successful market adoption and sustainable clinical impact.

Areas of Expertise and Strengths for SPARC placements:

  • Patient and Public Involvement/Engagement
  • Health Economics & Internationalisation
  • Pump Priming
  • Technology Evaluation Studies & Proof of Concepts
  • MedTech regulatory support
  • Clinical Informatics and registries
  • World leading clinical research themes

Delivered in partnership by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Cambridge (Dept of Clinical Neurosciences), with a national remit, the BrainMIC is uniquely placed to promote the development and adoption of novel technology-based solutions for brain injury patients and their carers.

As a UK centre of expertise in acquired brain injury the MIC has established networks and collaborations with funders, patients, carers, inventors, industry and clinician researchers to support the improvement of experience and outcomes of people affected by brain injury through MedTech.

Working with our specialist clinical themes to prevent, better manage and support reintegration into community, we deliver several initiatives including Brain Injury Technologies Think (BITT) tanks, annual Seedcorn Funding Competitions, Facilitated-workshops to support prioritisation of unmet needs and Technology Showcases.

Industry Collaborations:

  • Orion MedTech CiC, Obex Technologies Ltd
  • CW Healthcare  (formerly Cambridge Wireless)
  • Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Alliance (ABIRA)
  • UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF)
  • MedCity

For further information and if interested in undertaking a SPARC placement at the NIHR Brain Injury Med-Tech Co-operative, please contact Senior Programme Manager: Mita Brahmbhatt (info@brainmic.org).