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Research Support Service Hub delivered by the University of Leicester and Partners

In partnership with the Clinical Trials Units in Derby, Lincoln and Nottingham, the Universities of Lincoln, Loughborough and Nottingham, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire County Council

This hub is delivered by the University of Leicester in partnership with more than 20 research groups and clinical trials units. Collectively, these groups and units comprise more than 1000 experienced researchers across a wide range of specialisms.

Does our experience and expertise match your research needs?

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

Research strengths and areas of expertise

We support research across the full breadth of specialisms, designs, and funders. We particularly welcome projects involving under-researched/under-represented communities, fields, or sectors (e.g. nursing and midwifery, allied health professions, rural communities, or minority groups) and projects that align with the areas of strength and areas of interest of our advisers (see below).

Our advisers have a wide range of interests and expertise, including in:

  • Multiple long-term conditions, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
  • Lifestyle, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and weight management
  • Ethnic health and health inequalities
  • Health consequences of climate and environmental change
  • Injury risk and prevention
  • Health and care service quality, safety, and improvement
  • Healthy ageing and the care of older people
  • Use of routinely collected health and care data in research
  • Air pollution and environmental noise 
  • Health technology adoption and diffusion
  • Diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions
  • Development and evaluation of new technologies in mental health and dementia
  • Statistical methods in health and care research

In addition, our Clinical Trials Units have expertise and systems to support:

  • Research design, including non-standard trial designs
  • Research monitoring and quality assurance
  • Statistical expertise in design, analysis, and reporting
  • Regulatory advice and support
  • Trial and data management
  • Inclusive recruitment, including in under-served populations

Research support

We offer a range of flexible, accessible research support services, including:

  • One-to-one advice clinics and multidisciplinary discussions with methodologists/advisers (statisticians, social scientists, economists, data scientists, clinical trialists, behavioural scientists, etc)
  • Advice, support, and funding for public involvement and community engagement in research development, delivery, and dissemination
  • Support to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion in research
  • Review and feedback on draft funding applications from research advisers and public contributors
  • Review of the feasibility and deliverability of research plans, including recruitment locations and numbers, in partnership with the NIHR's Study Support Service
  • Advice to prospective fellowship applicants and practice interviews for those shortlisted
  • Opportunities to work with partner clinical trials units in support of study set-up, management, data collection, analysis, and reporting
  • Opportunities to collaborate with experienced methodologists and research teams in areas of international strength

Contact us

If you would like support from this RSS Hub, please complete our Research Support Request form to tell us a little about yourselves, your research idea, and the help you need.
For all other enquiries please email:

Hub partners

  • Derby Clinical Trials Support Unit (DCTSU) is a fully registered UK Clinical Research Collaboration Clinical Trials Unit. It provides a bespoke service to researchers, sponsors, and industry partners, including small and medium enterprises, for the design, delivery, analysis, and reporting of high-quality clinical research. DCTSU has a growing team of methodologists, trialists, data managers, trial managers and medical statisticians, which also has ready access to experienced clinical librarians and clinical trials pharmacists.
  • Lincoln Clinical Trials Unit was established in 2020 at the University of Lincoln within the Community and Health Research Unit to support clinical trials and other high-quality studies, particularly those addressing health inequalities, complex interventions (with quantitative and qualitative elements), and studies examining or involving issues of inclusivity and diversity.
  • Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit (NCTU) is a fully registered UK Clinical Research Collaboration trials unit that works with clinicians and researchers to conduct high-quality multicentre randomised trials. It has substantial expertise, including from experienced trialists, trial managers, data processing staff, and biostatisticians. NCTU also undertakes systematic reviews and meta-analysis and methodological research on improving the design and conduct of trials. NCTU has demonstrable expertise in platform and cluster RCTs, exclusive use of routine data, social media recruitment, test evaluation and screening RCTs. NCTU delivers a range of online and face-to-face courses in various aspects of trial design and delivery, including trial designs and statistics.
  • The Centre for Environmental Health and Sustainability (CEHS) at Leicester conducts multidisciplinary translational and epidemiological research to inform policy and improve population health in the areas of air pollution, environmental noise, and low-level environmental exposures. The CEHS hosts an NIHR Health Protection Research Unit on the health effects from exposures in the built environment.
  • The Centre for Ethnic Health Research at Leicester develops collaborative partnerships between patients, public, community and voluntary sectors, researchers, health and social care organisations, and others to address ethnic health disparities. Its capacity building programmes support and enhance researchers’ skills, knowledge, and confidence to produce high-quality research involving and in partnership with ethnic minorities and underserved communities.
  • The Centre for Healthcare Equipment & Technology Adoption (CHEATA), led by Professor Dan Clark, offers a support service to clinical, academic, and commercial med-tech developers to gather evidence for NHS adoption and to develop NHS-ready devices. CHEATA was set up in response to address the challenge to accelerate adoption and diffusion in the NHS of new devices and technologies. It delivers a range of services, including identification of clinical opportunities, product overview and scoping, user needs elicitation, economic impact assessment, integration of human factors, NICE engagement, clinical evaluation, regulatory compliance support, and medical device training for NHS implementation.
  • The Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour (CLiMB) at Loughborough works with researchers, members of the public, public health organisations, local government, charities, the voluntary sector, commercial partners, and the NHS to provide robust evidence to improve population health and well-being. CLiMB hosts the Research Ideas Catalogue Knowledge & Impact, connecting people nationally and internationally in physical activity and health, weight management and dietary behaviours, health and well-being, and sport research.
  • The Community and Health Research Unit at Lincoln conducts interdisciplinary research to enhance people’s health and well-being and reduce inequalities by improving the quality, performance, and systems of care. Its interdisciplinary research with service users and health service professionals and research tackles the experience, safety, effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of healthcare by examining and transforming the performance and function of health and social care practice, organisation, and delivery.

  • The Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Leicester works to understand and improve population health through international quality research and teaching, encompassing determinants of health, interventions in policy and practice, and methodological development. The Department has strengths across epidemiology, medical statistics, public health, primary care, health services research, and psychiatry. 
  • The Development Centre for Population Health (DCPH) at Leicester conducts research to improve the health of populations and reduce health inequalities. Its research focuses on health protection, non-communicable disease and multiple long-term conditions in communities experiencing health inequity (such as low-income groups, migrant populations, and ethnic minorities). The DCPH works closely with communities, policy makers and the public to translate evidence into policy-change to reduce variations in health care and outcomes.
  • The Diabetes Research Centre at the University of Leicester is a multi-disciplinary research team working in the fields of diabetes and cardiovascular research. The Centre undertakes research in early detection, prevention, structured education, and new therapies along with teaching and training for both patients and healthcare professionals. Findings from these studies have had a major impact on local NHS policies, Department of Health and Social Care programmes and NICE guidance.
  • The Healthy Ageing Research Group at Lincoln conducts research to understand the experiences of ageing and to examine the performance and functioning of preventative and early intervention health and social care services, including service quality, efficiency, and equity. Areas of interest include experiences of ageing, healthy ageing, preventative and early intervention strategies, and improved community and statutory provisions, including integration.
  • The Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group at Nottingham specialises in the epidemiology and prevention of injuries, including falls in older people, injuries in childhood, and measuring the long-term impact of injuries. The group also has expertise in exploring social variations in injury risk, developing methodology in injury prevention research, and evaluating the implementation of injury prevention into practice.
  • The Institute for Environmental Futures (IEF) at Leicester brings together transdisciplinary research expertise in environmental Earth observation, environmental health, health sciences, environmental data science and machine learning, biological sciences, paleo-environmental research, and social sciences. The IEF aims to have a substantial impact on policies and practice, supporting national and regional development of adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  • The Institute of Mental Health is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Nottingham. It brings together healthcare staff and academics to improve diagnosis, treatment, and mental health care. The Institute has a strong record of accomplishment in innovative, service-facing, interdisciplinary mental health research delivered through centres of excellence, including for ADHD and neurodevelopmental disorders, dementia, health and justice, mood disorders, and translational neuroimaging.
  • Leicester Biostatistics Research Group specialises in the development, application, and teaching of statistical methods in medical research. The group has a broad range of research interests in biostatistics, epidemiology, and data science across a wide range of clinical disciplines (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular disease, public health, and diabetes). Research themes include health technology assessment and economic decision modelling, clinical trials, and economic evaluation, modelling observational data, survival analysis, and health data science.
  • Leicester Real World Evidence Unit has expertise in epidemiology, prognostic modelling, decision modelling, evidence synthesis, systematic reviewing, and meta-analysis, particularly in research involving the use of routinely collected health and care data. It offers statistical analysis services as well as research design consultation, support for data management and interpretation, and training resources.

  • The Lifespan and Population Health Unit at the University of Nottingham is a multi-disciplinary team spanning areas of Child Health, Dermatology, Public Health, Epidemiology, Obstetrics Primary Care and Wellbeing. Their research staff have a wide range of clinical and methodological expertise and include statisticians, health economists, specialists in running clinical trials, large database epidemiologists, qualitative methodologists and laboratory scientists, as well as clinicians such as GPs, Psychologists, and Clinical Academics in Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Neonatology, Obstetrics, Public Health, and Respiratory Medicine.
  • The Lifestyle & Health Research Group at Leicester conducts research in key areas of lifestyle, health, and the prevention of chronic disease. It supports population epidemiology, experimental evaluation, and implementation in clinical, community and occupational settings. Areas of expertise include behaviour change, sleep, activity measurement, sedentary behaviour, lifestyle and medicine interactions, diet and nutrition, ageing and physical function, and ethnicity.
  • MindTech is an NIHR MedTech and In-vitro diagnostic Co-operative (MIC) that supports the development, adoption, and evaluation of new technologies for mental healthcare and dementia. It brings together healthcare professionals, researchers, industry, and the public. MindTech has a particular strength in supporting SMEs interested in digital and neuromodulation interventions in mental health. MindTech’s research themes cover a range of technologies (assessment and monitoring, digital interventions and apps, virtual reality and games, medical devices, user journeys and data) and mental health conditions (Tourette syndrome, depression, dementia, ADHD, psychosis, and anxiety).
  • The National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine is a partnership between the universities of Leicester, Loughborough, and Nottingham, and the University Hospitals in Leicester and Nottingham. It translates high quality research in sport, exercise, and physical activity into improved health outcomes. Research expertise includes optimising health through lifestyle, physical activity and nutrition and the impact of exercise and activity on mental health and wellbeing.
  • Public Health Department at Derbyshire County Council (DCC) Expertise within the PHRSO and DCC includes in research governance and oversight, research systems and policy development, research quality assurance, developing research-related standard operating procedures, research costing and contracting, community engagement in research, and training to enable effective research co-production and delivery.

  • The Social Science, Applied Healthcare and Improvement Research Group (SAPPHIRE) undertakes research in healthcare quality and safety, informing the design and evaluation of improvement programmes. SAPPHIRE has expertise in the use of qualitative and ethnographic methods to understand where improvement is needed and how interventions work in the ‘real-world’, including for those with complex health needs.