Contact Us

With centres in the University of East Anglia, University of Hertfordshire, Cambridge University Hosptials NHS Foundation Trust, University of Essex and the University of Bedfordshire; the RDS EoE, along with its partners, offers a comprehensive and eclectic service focused on supporting funding applications from NHS and Social Care researchers and those working in partnership with the NHS.

If you wish to discuss a research project or find out more about services available through the NIHR Research Design Service East of England, contact the Central Co-ordinator:

School of Health and Human Sciences
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
Colchester
CO4 3SQ
Email: rds.eoe@nihr.ac.uk
Telephone: 01206 874856

RDS EoE Staff

Louise Forrest

Louise joined the RDS in November 2016 as the Central Co-ordinator for the East of England, job-sharing with Jemma.

Prof. Gill Green

Gill Green is a Professor of Medical Sociology in the School of Health and Human Sciences, University of Essex. Gill has been researching aspects of chronic illness since the early 1990s with a particular interest in the experience of long-term illness and the impact it has on self-identity. Gill has written books and has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals on the psychosocial impact of HIV and more recently upon people with other chronic illnesses. She has also been the Principal Investigator on a number of research projects related to other socially excluded groups such as the lived experiences of offenders with mental health problems and people living in low income households. She has expertise in a range of qualitative methods.

Gill has been Director of the RDS EoE since its inception in 2008 and this involves close liaison with RDS colleagues throughout the East of England and also with Directors of the other RDSs in England (there are 10 in total) to provide a seamless and equitable service to health researchers in the region applying for peer-reviewed funding. The role also involves extensive networking with other national and regional research organisations as well as establishing robust and enduring relationships with lay representatives and organisations to ensure their input into development of research. Gill chairs the national RDS Public Involvement Community and works closely with INVOLVE, the NIHR national body.

Tracey Johns

Tracey qualified as a Registered General Nurse at University College Hospital London and following a year staffing on a Burns and Plastic Surgery unit went on to graduate from Warwick University with a degree in English & European Literature. Since then she has worked as a qualitative researcher for various organisations including: market research, social policy research, voluntary sector, health and social care. Her work has always been driven by a passion for empowering patient voice and shared decision making and she has experience of designing and leading co-produced research projects. For the last eleven years within the NIHR Clinical Research Network she has led projects aimed at improving study delivery and performance and most recently as a national Patient Public Involvement Lead for the previous NIHR CRN Primary Care Research Network. Tracey joined the Research Design Service as regional Public Involvement Lead in February 2016.

Jemma Holliday

Jemma is the Central Co-ordinator for the East of England, working part-time based at the University of Essex. She joined the RDS in July 2015, originally as an Administrative Assistant.

Dr Louise Marsland

Louise gained her first degree in Sociology and Psychology at Brunel University, and subsequently a PhD in Nursing Studies at King’s College London. She has a long standing interest in health issues having qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and more recently acquiring a further degree in Complementary Medicine.

Methodologically, Louise has considerable experience of longitudinal survey research having worked for 12 years at the National Nursing Research Unit (King’s College) on a DH programme investigating nursing careers. More recently, however, she has specialised in qualitative methods, and currently teaches the qualitative component of MSc research methods courses.

Louise has an eclectic mix of research interests including complementary therapies, cancer care, brain injury, women’s health and vulnerable young people. She is currently funded with colleagues at the University of Essex and Colchester Hospital for an NIHR RfPB project exploring Modified Pilates as an adjunct treatment for Urinary Incontinence.

Dr Jonathan Scales

Jon completed a degree in Psychology and Anthropology at Keele University, as a mature student, after service in the RAF.  Subsequently he gained a MA in Social Research Methods and a PhD in Applied Social and Economic Research from the University of Essex.   His post-doctoral work experience includes research posts in the NHS, the Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Future Foundation and the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University.  Prior to his current post as Research Adviser with the NIHR Research Design Service he ran his own social and market research consultancy during which time he designed, managed and delivered research projects that steered policy for a wide range of organisations including the BBC,  Camelot, The Institute of Fundraising, Local Government Organisations, The National Housing Federation, The Economic and Social Research Council,  housing associations,  universities, emergency services and a number of national charities.

Dr Susan Smith

Dr Susan Smith has a Health Sciences background, with experience in both clinical and academic settings. She has a PhD from the University of Manchester in “The cellular and molecular regulation of vitamin D metabolism in myeloid cell lines and macrophages”, which was followed by post-doctoral research as part of a Vitamin D Research Group. She has several years’ experience of research in the National Health Service, both as a Research & Development Manager at an acute hospital Trust and as a Clinical Trial Co-ordinator for the NIHR funded ‘iQuit in Practice’ smoking cessation study, based at the University of Cambridge. More recently Susan worked as part of the Research & Enterprise Office team at University Campus Suffolk. She joined the NIHR Research Design Service as a part-time Research Adviser in April 2014.

Dr Suzanne Murphy

Suzanne is a developmental and health psychologist with a particular interest in children’s social development and its relationship with physical and mental health conditions, specialising in quantitative methods, systematic reviews and cognitive behavioural therapy trials.

As Associate Director and Adviser for the NIHR Research Design Services (East of England) advises academic staff and healthcare professionals on submitting grant applications to NIHR funding streams and leads on professional development within the RDS for the East of England region including a programme of support for researchers.

Erica Cook

Erica is a Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology (PhD completed in 2012) and joined the RDS in February 2015. Erica’s main area of expertise is in the application and development of health behavior change interventions and also has particular interests in e-health, relating to access, adoption and clinical effectiveness. Erica also provides statistical advice and support to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital and is a co-applicant (statistician) on a number of pragmatic randomised controlled trials in a variety of clinical areas.

As RDS adviser, Erica provides general advice particularly in the area of health behavior change intervention.

Dr Muhammad Waqar

Muhammad is currently employed full time in the role of Research Assistant for RDS and is based at the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire. He provides administrative and research support to the RDS team in Bedfordshire. Muhammad started with RDS in December 2008.

Muhammad is a medical doctor from Pakistan. Subsequent to Masters in Public Health from the University of Bedfordshire, he chose to pursue a career in Research and Academia. He has provided research support for nationally and locally funded projects like Faith and Organ Donation project (funded by DoH and Poverty in Young People Project (funded by Luton Borough Council). He is keen to research health inequalities in the ethnic minorities of the UK. He is particularly interested in Health problems related to immigration and sexually transmitted/ blood borne diseases such as Hepatitis C.

Ms Emma Wilkinson

Emma works part time as an Advisor for the Bedfordshire RDS providing advice on all aspects of research design but particularly with respect to qualitative methods, diversity and chronic disease.

In the rest of her working life she is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bedfordshire and has led research projects in the areas of community interventions for chronic disease prevention, quality of care through care pathways and end of life care for minority ethnic groups.  Previously she has also been a Researcher Consultant on a variety of policy related projects in the health sector for an independent research consultancy.

Emma has a broad interest in realist and action research methodologies within public health and has a range of experience of mixed method research to draw on. She has particular topic interests in Diabetes, Older People, End of Life Care, Workplace Health and Health Promotion.

Dr Nasreen Ali

Nasreen is a Senior Research Fellow in Public Health at the Institute for Health Research and teaches on the MSc in Public Health.

Nasreen has worked as a lecturer, a researcher and a consultant on a range of ethnic minority issues including race and ethnic relations, ethnicity and identity politics and health.  Her most recent work has focussed on improving health care for people from minority ethnic backgrounds focusing on the intersections between generational changes and healthcare attitudes and beliefs.  She has published on the above issues and is also co-editor of A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain published in 2006. Hurst & Company, London.

Dr Simon Bond

Simon completed a degree in mathematics and masters in statistics at Oxford University, followed by a PhD in statistics at Warwick University. Having gained experience in applied and methodological research at MRC Biostatistics Unit, and Mundipharma Research, Simon now leads the statistical team within Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU). The services provided include: study design, including novel and adaptive methods, including  co-application to grant applications; input into protocol development and data management; randomisation; reporting during the study to oversight committees; final analysis; input into journals. Outside of study-specific tasks Simon sits on the NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation board, leads the Early-Phase Study group within the NIHR statistics group, and lectures to the Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapeutics MSc course. Simon previously served on an Ethics committee, and the NICE HTA evaluation board.

Dr Kim Cartledge

Kim has a background in Social Research and Information Management in Health Research.  Starting out in the field of Human Geography, she completed a Masters in Research Methods at the University of Sheffield followed by an ESRC sponsored PhD in the field of Population Geography. Focusing on migration, her research involved the use of qualitative research methods to explore the multitude of issues associated with cross-border movements of people. She then moved to Newcastle University as a Postdoctoral Research Associate where she researched stakeholder’s understandings of the asylum system as part of an inter-disciplinary EU framework project looking at ‘systems’ more generally. Most recently she has accumulated expertise and knowledge in health research, spending a number of years as the R&D Information Manager at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. Here she developed insight into clinical research project development and an understanding of the potential capacity, capability and ethical barriers to research success that can emerge in relation to research governance.

In her current post as a Research Adviser, she has a particular interest in public health and social care research and studies exploring the behavioural and psychological impacts of applied health interventions. Her expertise lies in qualitative methods, ethics, PPI and research governance.

Andrew Sharpe

Andrew is the site Manager and Public Involvement Lead for the Cambridge office. This role involves a variety of tasks including; organising and facilitating meetings and events to enable researchers to engage with patients and members of the public; provide links to charities and local lay groups; and to provide guidance through the whole application process. Andrew’s role also includes the provision of administrative support to the Cambridge office.

Andrew has a MA in Sociological Research from the University of Sheffield; focussing on qualitative methods. He has a keen interest in public health; specifically with the promotion of increasing involvement in physical activity.

Dr Jonathan Scales

Jon completed a degree in Psychology and Anthropology at Keele University, as a mature student, after service in the RAF.  Subsequently he gained a MA in Social Research Methods and a PhD in Applied Social and Economic Research from the University of Essex.   His post-doctoral work experience includes research posts in the NHS, the Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Future Foundation and the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University.  Prior to his current post as Research Adviser with the NIHR Research Design Service he ran his own social and market research consultancy during which time he designed, managed and delivered research projects that steered policy for a wide range of organisations including the BBC,  Camelot, The Institute of Fundraising, Local Government Organisations, The National Housing Federation, The Economic and Social Research Council,  housing associations,  universities, emergency services and a number of national charities.

Dr Janine Hawkins

Janine has recently joined the Research Design Service East of England as a Research Adviser, having graduated in 2016 with an MSc in Psychology.  Janine’s final project involved a qualitative examination of the process of patient safety incident reporting in the NHS, building on her PhD in Safety Management Systems from Aston University back in 2001.

In the interim, Janine has worked in social and government research, mainly for commercial research organisations, undertaking policy and initiative evaluation research for clients including DWP, HSE, HMRC, BIS and National Audit Office.  Janine has designed, written applications for, and delivered many hundreds of qualitative and quantitative research projects over the years, and has a particular expertise in depth interviewing and thematic analysis, survey methods and questionnaire design.  Her experience in preparing, and assisting with funding applications is extensive and she particularly enjoys this element of her work.

Janine is currently involved in a range of studies and funding applications at UH, covering specialisms including nephrology, self-management and patient safety.

Dr Annalisa Casarin

Annalisa is a medical doctor, specialist in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Management with an interest in Complementary Medicine (Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture).

She trained in Italy then became a Critical Care Clinical Fellow in Toronto (Canada), Cambridge (UK) and London (UK). After repatriating, she spent two and half years as a Pain Management Consultant in Italy. In 2013 she returned to the UK as Research Fellow involved in the MoDUS RCT, the AWARE2 Trial, and a number of audits and observational trials. She appears in several peer reviewed publications.

Annalisa is currently undertaking a part-time Masters in Public Health – Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield and works part-time for the NIHR Research Design Service East of England as a Research Adviser.

Her main areas of interest are quantitative studies in Critical Care and Complementary Medicine and systematic reviews.

Dr. David Wellsted

David is the Associate Director and Research Adviser at our Hertfordshire office.  David also holds the lead role at the Centre for Lifespan and Chronic Illness (CLiCIR) at the University of Hertfordshire. His PhD at Leeds examined the role of attention in guiding listening. David also completed a post doctoral post at the University of York working on a BBSRC funded project designed to determine the role of sound localisation in the formation of auditory objects.  His main current role is to facilitate the development of fundable research activity within the NHS in Hertfordshire, with the support of our colleagues in the NHS and those based at the University of Hertfordshire.

Megan Smith

Megan gained her first degree in Criminology with Psychology at the University of Portsmouth and subsequently completed an MSc Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. She now works full time covering both administrative and research support for the RDS team at Hertfordshire as a Junior Adviser.

Keith Sullivan

Keith is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire and a Senior Research Advisor for the NIHR East of England Research Design Service. Keith is a former Professor of Epidemiology. He is a nutritional epidemiologist and bio-statistician with expertise in quantitative research methodology and has worked in the arena of nutritional epidemiology and been a senior university staff member nationally and internationally for many years.  He is keenly interested in understanding from a quantitative scientist view point the ever growing worldwide obesity epidemic.

Dr Garry Barton

Garry is a Reader in Health Economics (PhD completed in 2007) and joined the RDS in October 2008. Garry’s main area of expertise is in the application and development of the methods of economic evaluation and he is a co-applicant (health economist) on a number of pragmatic randomised controlled trials in a variety of clinical areas.

As Associate Director for the Norfolk and Suffolk region Garry also oversees the RDS advice provided in this region of the EoE RDS. As well as providing general RDS advice, he also provides health economics advice across the region.

Outside of the RDS Garry is a member of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit Programme (RfPB) London Regional Funding Committee and lead health economist for the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit (http://www.uea.ac.uk/norwichctu/).

Debbie Graver

Debbie is currently employed in a joint role with the RDS EoE and the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit as Clinical Trials Project Manager/Trial Development.  This role involves working with Trial Teams on the development of applications for funding and early set up of multi-centre clinical trials and CTIMPS.  This joint post with the RDS  EoE provides a link between RDS and NCTU to help facilitate both groups working together on the development of high quality proposals for clinical trials. Prior to this she was a Project Officer in Research and Enterprise Services at UEA working with academic staff from Norwich Medical School. She has a lot of experience with the practicality of running research projects including Research Ethics and Governance issues, funder requirements, contracts, intellectual property and costings of research studies involving the NHS.

Adam Wagner

Since completing a PhD in Medical Statistics at the University of Strathclyde in 2010, Adam has worked as a Statistician in health services research. Between 2010 and 2015, he worked as a Research Associate within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge, where his work focused on the health and social care services that support people with learning (intellectual) disabilities and acquired brain injuries. In 2015, Adam completed an MSc in Health Economics at the University of East Anglia (UEA).  Adam now works as a Research Fellow in the Health Economics Group, within the Norwich Medical School at UEA. Adam’s role incorporates being a Research Adviser for the NIHR Research Design Service. His research interests have extended to include conducting economic evaluations and modelling.

Emma McManus

Emma is a Research Associate in Health Economics and Health Technology Assessment, and joined the RDS in March 2015. At the same time she is completing her MSc in Health Economics at the University of East Anglia (UEA), which she will hopefully complete in September 2015. Before this, Emma graduated from UEA, with a first class honours degree in Mathematics, completing projects on modelling the spread of an infectious disease within a closed population as well as another project looking into the haemeodynamics of the cardiovascular system

Lisa McDaid

Lisa joined the RDS as a part-time adviser in April 2015. She has worked as a researcher on a number of NIHR funded research projects, including home safety in the under-5s, medication adherence in women identified as being at risk of osteoporosis and health literacy in older people with chronic health conditions. She has extensive experience working in both academic and NHS research environments.

Lisa McDaid graduated with a BS (Hons) in Psychosocial Studies from the University of East Anglia and went on to complete an MSc in Social Research Methods at the Open University. She is currently completing her PhD in the School of Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia. Her research aims to develop a greater understanding of teenagers who have more than one pregnancy using a mixed methods research approach.

Lisa is particularly interested in sexual health and risk taking, qualitative research methods and public and patient involvement in research.

Dr Allan Clark

Allan is a senior lecturer and medical statistics and joined the RDS in 2015. Allan’s main area of expertise is in the application and development of statistical methods in clinical trials. He is a co-applicant of various pragmatic randomised controlled trials in different clinical areas. Outside the RDS, Allan is a Senior statistician for the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit

Dr Jean Craig

Jean is an experienced paediatric nurse. Prior to joining the RDS she worked as a Research Associate in the Evidence-Based Child Health Unit at the University Liverpool where her role included: undertaking systematic reviews; developing national guidelines; leading the Evidence-Based Child Health Module; sitting on the Trust Research Review Committee; helping to establish and run the Trust Research Clinic to support researchers; assisting health care practitioners at the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust to demonstrate an evidence-based approach to clinical practice;.

Jean gained her PhD at the University of Liverpool before moving to Norwich in April 2010 to take up post as a Researcher Advisor. She is PPI representative for the Norfolk and Suffolk hub and an active member of the RDS East of England Communications Group. She continues to conduct secondary research and is currently co-reviewer for the ‘Manipulation of Drugs for Use in Children’ (MODRIC) systematic review, one of the work streams of an NIHR RfPB funded project, for which she was a co-applicant. Her clinical / research interests include general paediatrics, medicines management, supportive care in children with cancer, systematic review methods and development of evidence-based guidelines.

Dr Jamie Murdoch

Jamie is currently employed as Qualitative Lead and Research Adviser based in the Norfolk and Suffolk hub of the EoE RDS at UEA.  Jamie also works as a Senior Research Associate in Urgent Care within the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at UEA. He specialises in qualitative research design in standalone and mixed methods research and has conducted a number of studies using qualitative methods. In addition, he also has extensive experience in the design, implementation of randomised controlled trials and the role of process evaluations within clinical trials.

Jamie has a local, national and international research profile and his own currently funded research includes examining how GPs and nurses communicate with patients in telephone triage consultations. Jamie has a particular interest in patient-provider communication and is developing research applications to study how the design of healthcare systems impacts on communication and the sharing of information between patients, providers and across service settings.

Ms Helen Risebro

Helen is currently employed part-time in the role of research adviser in Norwich for the RDS EoE. She completed an MSc in Health Sciences at the University of York in 2003 and worked briefly for the York Trials Unit before joining the Centre for Health Economics, Research and Evaluation at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Helen returned to the UK to work at the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia. Since joining UEA, Helen has worked on a number of projects concerning the epidemiology of waterborne disease supported by the European Commission, WHO, FSA (Food Standards Agency) and Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). These projects included an RCT of bathing water quality in Mediterranean and Hungarian waters involving 7000 volunteers, coordinating a multi-centre prospective cohort study of consumers drinking from private water supplies (PWS) in the UK, designing a prospective cohort study in Cambodia and conducting a systematic review to inform a risk assessment model. More recently, Helen has been aiding with the economic evaluation of clinical trials supported by the NIHR.

Helen was appointed as an adviser for RDS in March 2010 and is the PPI representative for the Norfolk and Suffolk hub.

Susan Stirling

Sue Stirling obtained a BSc in Combined Science (Mathematics and Biology) in 1987, followed by an MSc in Medical Statistics from Leicester University. She joined to MRC National Survey of Health and Development (1946 birth cohort), based at University College, London, as a non-clinical research fellow, looking at childhood predictors of poor health In adulthood. After 5 years in this role she moved to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she worked on the MRC trial of assessment and management of older people in the community. She has worked as a tutor and module organiser with the LSHTM Distance Learning programme since 1998, tutoring on statistical modules of the Masters courses in Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases, Public Health and Clinical Trials.

Sue joined the RDS EoE in January 2013, and since then has advised on a variety of grant proposals, in conjunction with other RDS advisers.

David Turner

David is currently employed (0.2fte) with the RDS as a health economist. He is a member of the Health Economics Group (HEG) at the University of East Anglia. David has considerable experience (around 14 years) of providing health economics support and advice to researchers, both for RDSs and their pre-cursor organizations. He has fulfilled this role while working for the Universities of East Anglia, Southampton, and Leicester.

David’s main research expertise is in designing, conducting, and analysis of economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, as well as wider issues relating to trial design and conduct. This includes designing instruments to collect resource use and cost data as well as using and analysis of instruments to collect health related quality of life (HRQoL). He also has expertise in constructing health economic models, both Markov and decision tree.

David has degrees in economics and health economics as well as 20 year’s experience as a practicing health economist.

Professor Lee Shepstone

Lee is a Professor of Medical Statistics at the University of East Anglia. His main area of expertise is in the application and development of statistical methods in clinical trials. He is a co-applicant of various pragmatic randomised controlled trials in different clinical areas and is Associate Director for Norwich Clinical Trials Unit.

Ms Lisa Rowe

Lisa is currently employed full time as senior administrative assistant for the Health Economics Group at the University of East Anglia. As part of this role she provides part time administrative support to the RDS team in the Norfolk and Suffolk region. Lisa started working with the RDS in October 2009.

Previously Lisa worked in various administrative roles at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, the University of East Anglia and Optimum Patient Care (an organisation providing audit & review services for GP Practices/PCT’s).