Internet Explorer is no longer supported by Microsoft. To browse the NIHR site please use a modern, secure browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge.

Research Support Service Hub delivered by University of Birmingham and Partners

In partnership with Keele and Warwick Universities, including the Birmingham, Keele and Warwick Clinical Trials Units

This hub provides a wide range of methodological expertise, including design and delivery of observational research and trials. Hub staff include methodological specialists in quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods approaches, together with specialists in health economics, evidence synthesis, health psychology, social and behavioural sciences, health service/implementation research, and ethics. Further areas of strength include embedding PPIE and achieving impact in research, reflecting priorities and expectations of NIHR schemes.

Associated Clinical Trials Units have an established track record of offering the scientific, methodological and operational expertise needed to support clinical trial research from conception to completion. They specialise in the development and delivery of high-quality multicentre clinical trials, designed to test new treatments and therapies, and other high-quality clinical studies, including large cohort studies.

Does our experience and expertise match your research needs?

Look through this hub's research specialties and additional support below.

Research strengths and areas of expertise

Contacting this hub affords access to the wide range of expertise described above not only from staff directly funded by the RSS, but also from academic and clinical staff across their networks. The specialist service offer comprises the following areas:

Evidence synthesis

  • different approaches to evidence synthesis, including Cochrane reviews
  • qualitative synthesis
  • NIHR Evidence Synthesis (Group)
  • network and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis

Innovative trial designs

  • adaptive, multi-arm, multi-stage, and platform clinical trials
  • pilot/feasibility studies, qualitative elements of trials and process evaluation within trials
  • studies-within-a-trial (SWATs)
  • cluster and stepped-wedge trials
  • Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) Research FIRST supporting non-CTIMP research

Analysis of complex data and electronic health records

  • statistical analysis of complex data structures including graphical modelling using causal graphs for the analysis of multidimensional data such as real-world evidence in health services research
  • statistical analysis of longitudinal discrete and continuous data
  • electronic health records and registry data; specific expertise in the analysis of patient electronic health records (THIN/CPRD data)
  • data science and artificial intelligence

Test evaluation and prognosis research

  • biostatistics, Evidence Synthesis and Test Evaluation Research Groups
  • evaluation of diagnostic tests
  • clinical prediction models and other prognosis research

Patient-reported outcomes

  • Centre for Patient Reported Outcomes Research
  • Biostatistics Group with specialist knowledge of psychometrics

Delivering clinical trial studies in specific areas and settings

  • multiple long-term conditions
  • surgery
  • trauma
  • acute medicine
  • paediatrics
  • primary care
  • emergency and critical care
  • women’s health and in children
  • cancer, including paediatric cancer
  • physiotherapy and observational studies in musculoskeletal health and pain
  • design and development of technological innovations for the recruitment of participants and data collection in primary care settings

PPIE and Impact

  • expert PPIE advice, facilitation and monitoring of best practices
  • co-production with inclusive patient and public involvement in all activities and impact
  • building pathways to impact and developing implementation trials

Implementation research

  • implementation/organisational science and behavioural change

Contact us

If you would  like to request support from this RSS Hub please complete the form via this link:  Support Request Form 

If you have a general enquiry for this RSS Hub please email 


Further information about associated Clinical Trials Units can be accessed here: