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We support the delivery of clinical research in all 30 health specialty areas. Each is overseen by a nominated Specialty Lead. These clinicians lead research groups to promote and support research within their specialty across the region. Want to work with them? They would be delighted to hear from you. 

The NIHR supports research being delivered through 30 specialty therapy areas. Each specialty is made up of expert clinical leaders and practitioners who work at both national and local levels to ensure that studies are delivered successfully and to promote awareness of research opportunities for participants to take part in.

The specialty groups also support the dialogue between the life sciences industry and charities to ensure the pipeline of research studies and to facilitate the involvement of participants to make research more effective. Visit the main NIHR website to find out what is happening nationally in the different specialties.

Primary Care research 

We offer support to enable research to be carried out in Primary Care centres such as GP practices, pharmacies and dentists. Our dedicated Primary Care team can help at every stage - including staff training, the set-up of studies and recruitment of patients. 

We work with each of the 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Greater Manchester to support a wide range of research including studies which look at:

  • Promoting a healthier lifestyle
  • Disease diagnosis and prevention
  • Management of long-term illnesses such as diabetes or hypertension
  • Prevention of future ill-health
  • Treating common conditions such as tonsillitis or influenza

A message from our Specialty Lead 

Dr Sheila McCorkindale is CRN Greater Manchester Specialty Lead for Primary Care...

Patients who take part in research studies do well. They learn more about their condition and their outcomes are better. As a GP, I’ve been involved in research for many years and I would really encourage all GPs to take a look at it and consider how best you can take part in whatever capacity you are able.

"Research is interesting, it’s inspiring, it keeps you up-to-date and it brings income into the practice. But most of all, it brings all these opportunities to your patients."

Patient testimonial 

Gill Heneghan took part in studies looking at diabetes and cholesterol at her local GP practice in Manchester...

It’s been really easy for me to take part in these studies because they are at my own GP practice which is near to me. It’s really convenient for me. The team who look after you, and who look after the studies, are really fantastic and I feel quite happy that I’m having a thorough health check every time I go."

GP testimonial 

Dr Stephen Tomkinson is a research-active GP at The Bodey Medical Centre in Manchester... 

As a GP, it’s great to have different research projects to get involved with. Not only does it benefit our practice, but most importantly it benefits our patient population. It gives patients different choices about managing their condition and they are usually very excited about getting involved in cutting edge research which could make real differences."

A closer look at a research-active GP practice 

The Bodey Medical Centre, in Fallowfield, Manchester, has a wealth of experience in delivering research in primary care. Being involved in research has resulted in a range of benefits for the practice and its patients.

Contact us 

General enquiries: (e) (t) 0161 701 5600

Specialty Lead: Dr Sheila McCorkindale (e)

Assistant Research Delivery Manager: Emma Oughton (e) (t) 0161 276 8049

Social Care research 

We help researchers to deliver studies in social care settings. We also support social care settings to become accredited research delivery sites so people receiving this care can benefit from research.

Research in care homes

We deliver the NIHR’s Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) programme in Greater Manchester. We enjoy a strong collaboration with Greater Manchester’s Higher Education institutions to help the region’s university researchers readily connect with suitable, local care homes to carry out studies with consenting residents and families.

Studies in our region have included research into palliative care, cognitive stimulation, drug trials and questionnaires on topics such as a person’s transition from home care to residential care.

Dr Sibylle Thies, a researcher from the University of Salford, has provided a good practice guide for involving care homes in research. 

Research in hospices 

We deliver the NIHR’s Consortium for Hospice and Community Research in Greater Manchester. Our aim is to increase recruitment from the hospice and community sectors to research studies supported by the Clinical Research Network.

We help to connect researchers with suitable local hospices where research studies looking at palliative care can be conducted with the consent of patients and their families.

Research in other settings 

We also support the delivery of research in other non-NHS settings including schools, colleges and prisons. 


Dr Mark Hayes is a Research Fellow in Communication Disability at Manchester Metropolitan University and the Chief Investigator for the ‘Mental Capacity Assessment in Care Home’s study...

Thank you to the ENRICH team in Greater Manchester for all your support with recruiting to my recent care homes study. We managed to recruit enough for completed data collection and analysis."

Contact us

General enquiries: (e) (t) 0161 701 5600

Specialty Lead: Professor Arpana Verma (e)  

Research Delivery Manager: Susan Neeson (e) (t) 0161 509 3109

Respiratory Disorders research 

Respiratory conditions are a key health challenge facing Greater Manchester. Research into this area is an important local priority.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), in particular, is very prominent among people living in our area. The city-region has the second highest admission rates for COPD in England, as well as poor outcomes and unwanted variation between GP Practices and localities.

A proven research record 

The Salford Lung Study is an example of a ground-breaking trial that we have supported. The study examined the safety and effectiveness of a new treatment for COPD. From early engagement co-ordinating all of the GP practices and pharmacies involved with the study, through to running training sessions for the nurse teams, we were heavily involved throughout.

Greater Manchester is home to the North West Lung Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, the largest clinical respiratory department in the UK.

In 2018/19, we supported the recruitment of 1,495 patients across 52 studies. This took place across nine trusts and one Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Database of local research volunteers 

Our colleagues at Research for the Future run the Help BEAT Respiratory Disease campaign. This campaign encourages people from across Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas with respiratory conditions such as COPD, asthma or bronchiectasis to take part in local research opportunities.

By signing-up, people add their name to a consent-to-approach database which helps local researchers identify potential study participants. This service is designed to support respiratory research across Greater Manchester.


Our Respiratory Disorders specialty group has provided proportionate research training for 50 North West respiratory registrars to enable them to participate in selected trials running locally.

The training has been very well received and we plan to form a respiratory trainee research collaborative to develop more Early Career Researchers in respiratory medicine.

A message from our Specialty Lead

Dr Abdul Ashish was appointed Respiratory Disorders Speciality Lead for CRN Greater Manchester in 2019. Dr Ashish is a Consultant Respiratory Physician at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust...

It is my belief that access to clinical research should be equitable and accessible to all sites for all patients across Greater Manchester (GM). I want to support our academic centres by recruiting patients from across GM into clinical trials led by them and promote research across the district general hospitals.

"I see Greater Manchester as a rich resource for respiratory research. We are already recruiting well with the populations around Salford and Wythenshawe, but we have an excellent opportunity to reach out more widely into the other boroughs.”

Contact us

General enquiries: (e) (t) 0161 701 5600

Specialty Lead: Dr Abdul Ashish (e) 

Research Delivery Manager: Joanne Collins (e)

All specialties 

Our 30 specialties are divided into four separate sections. Each is headed by one of our senior investigators, who work with our Specialty Leads and Research Delivery Managers to oversee the delivery of studies. 


Lead: Prof Nigel Bundred, Professor in Surgical Oncology, 


Lead: Prof Philip Kalra, Honorary Professor of Nephrology, 


Lead: Prof Ed Johnstone, Consultant Obstetrician, 


Lead: Prof Kathryn Abel, Professor in Psychological Medicine & Women’s Mental Health,