Meet our team

Meet our team

RDS EoE Staff

With centres at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Universities of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and East Anglia; 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.

Research Design Service East of England Team Photo

EssexBedfordshireCambridgeshireHertfordshireNorfolk and Suffolk

Louise Forrest

Louise is currently employed part-time by the University of  Essex as the Central Co-ordinator for the East of England, job-sharing with Jemma.  Louise joined the RDS in 2016 after working for the NHS in a variety of roles including Corporate Administration Manager for a Clinical Commissioning Group, Project Manager at an acute trust and Manager of a Community Hospital.

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, following administrative roles requiring website development and database management expertise.

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.  He is a certified member of the Market Research Society.

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 (now the University of Suffolk). She joined the NIHR Research Design Service as a part-time Research Adviser in April 2014. She is also currently a member of the East of England Essex Research Ethics Committee and Crohn’s and Colitis UK’s ‘Living with IBD’ Research Awards Panel.

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.

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 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 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.

Helen Munro Wild

Helen is a Research Fellow and part-time RDS advisor with an interest in chronic disease, self-management and public health. She has a BSc in Psychology and Research Methods from the University of Bath and an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

To date, she has published several papers on HIV and Sexual Health and has previous experience in Child & Maternal Health. Currently, she is co-ordinating a study to develop a self-management scale for people with chronic kidney disease. The project uses both qualitative and quantitative methods, with a focus on important psychosocial elements of self-management.

Dr Keith Sullivan

Keith is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire and a Senior Research Adviser 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.


Lisa Rowe

Lisa is currently employed part time at the University of East Anglia and provides 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).

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

Emma McManus

Emma is a Senior Research Associate in Health Economics, and joined the RDS in March 2015. Emma is currently funded on a NIHR Fellowship project exploring how to prioritise research for an entire clinical area (atopic eczema) using value of information methods. She has experience conducting systematic reviews, economic evaluations alongside clinical trials, and analysing large, routinely collected, datasets. At the same time, she is pursuing a part time PhD in Health Economics, exploring the value of replication within decision analytic models. Emma also hold a first class honours degree in Mathematics.

Prof. 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.

Susan Stirling

Sue has a part-time role with the RDS as a statistician. She also works as a statistician with the Norwich Clinical Trials UNIT (Norwich CTU). She completed an MSc in Medical Statistics at Leicester University in 1988. She has previously worked for the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (1946 birth cohort), and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, before joining the University of East Anglia in 2012.

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.

Dr Adam Wagner

Adam is a Research Fellow in the Health Economics Group at the University of East Anglia (UEA). He works as a health economist (MSc (distinction) 2015, UEA) and statistician (PhD, 2010) across a range of clinical areas in a number of trials. Alongside providing health economic and statistical methodological advice within the RDS, Adam provides similar project support in the NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England (EoE; http://www.clahrc-eoe.nihr.ac.uk/). Additionally, he is a member of the Research for Patient Benefit Programme (RfPB) East Midlands Regional Funding Committee and the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit (http://www.uea.ac.uk/norwichctu/).