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Research Support Service Hub delivered by Lancaster University and Partners

In partnership with the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan

This hub is delivered by Lancaster University in partnership with the Universities of Liverpool (including Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre), Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan. The hub provides methodological and research expertise by a world class, multidisciplinary team at the forefront of their field, working collaboratively to offer a range of research support services. 

The hub is passionate about supporting research that is:

  • Inclusive by embedding equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Shaped by diverse public involvement by incorporating the voices of patients, service users and carers and members of the public
  • Environmentally sustainable, offering expert advice on how to integrate sustainable healthcare principles into research projects

Health and care researchers are supported from pre-application through to post-application stages, and the hub provides opportunities for collaboration with their diverse team of world-leading researchers and methodologists.

This hub particularly welcomes health and care researchers in underserved and under-researched topics, disciplines and communities, including: nurses, midwives, allied health professionals, social workers, the voluntary sector, social care practitioners, pharmacists and public health practitioners, as well as members from rural, coastal and urban communities, ethnic minority communities and other underserved groups.

This hub also hosts the NIHR RSS Specialist Centre for Social Care

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

This hub offers world leading expertise in designing and delivering research in:

  • health inequalities and public health
  • sustainability
  • palliative care
  • ageing
  • sexuality
  • neurology
  • mental health
  • other vulnerable people, including children and young people
  • social care and social work, including with small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
  • national and international clinical trials and evaluations of health care interventions.

In addition, the Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre provides expertise in:

  • Neuroscience (mental health and neurology)
  • paediatric and foetal health 
  • women's health 
  • cardiovascular
  • infection
  • orthopaedic
  • surgical
  • social care

Methodological expertise

Core research methods expertise

This hub provides a broad range of core research methods expertise, including:

  • evidence synthesis
  • bio statistics
  • quantitative methods 
  • advice on economic aspects of studies, including cost-effectiveness 
  • behaviour science/ health psychology
  • qualitative methods

This hub provides national leadership in the following areas of methodological expertise from across their partnership:

Methods for evaluating health and care interventions, including trials and other robust designs

  • designing and delivering novel experimental approaches and innovative trials methodology research e.g Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials (COMET) Initiative
  • mixed methods evaluation of complex interventions in challenging settings including realist evaluation
  • health economics including public health economics, impact of behaviour change policies, econometrics, valuation of preferences and cost-analysis

Methods for determining what works, for whom, in what contexts in health and care service delivery

  • theory-driven multiple method process evaluations providing explanations as to the acceptability of interventions/programmes and whether these  work in the real world, including the development of programme theory, logic models and systems approaches to inform intervention design and evaluation
  • understanding and explaining the influence of context through ethnography, realist inquiry and case study and natural experiments

Co-production, participatory, creative and visual methods

Support for engaged research with underserved communities and under-researched areas, including:

  • research co-production, collaboration with experts by experience as community-based researchers, and creative and visual methods including arts and design with underserved communities e.g. children and young people, people with dementia and those with cognitive difficulties.

Methods for the use of routinely collected health and care data

Harnessing data for real world health and care improvement, including:

  • access to NHS data and secure data environments, data cleaning, linking and visualisation
  • using data to answer NHS driven queries on health care utilisation, population health management, multimodal diagnostics and automated coding
  • using administrative data to create new social care data, investigating social care use, population needs, workforce planning, and predicting costs and outcomes
  • policy-relevant analysis focused on social inequalities in child health, using linked longitudinal data
  • evaluation of natural policy experiments and alternative policy scenarios using state-of-the-art quasi-experimental, econometric and simulation methods to assess the health inequality impacts

Research support

This hub offers researchers a wide range of research support, including:

  • formulating research questions and appropriate study designs
  • facilitating multidisciplinary collaborators
  • identifying and applying to appropriate funding sources
  • advice on preparing grant applications and costings
  • critical review of final draft applications
  • responding to funding committee feedback
  • dissemination, communications support, audience analysis, stakeholder engagement, knowledge mobilisation and community engagement
  • research delivery including: 
    • project management
    • quality assurance and standard operating procedures
    • data acquisition
    • analysis and management
    • ethics and regulatory approvals
    • general ‘troubleshooting’ 

Do you have the right team in place to deliver your research?  Are you looking to extend and compliment your team's expertise?  This hub offers opportunities for collaboration with world-leading researchers and methodologists, including signposting to connect to wider expertise networks, to support cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research delivery.

Contact us

If you would like support from this RSS Hub, please complete this form to tell us a little about yourselves and your research needs.

For general enquiries please contact