We make sure clinical research occupies the place it deserves to in the day-to-day work of the NHS across the North East and North Cumbria area. This includes Trusts, primary care organisations and any other qualified providers of NHS services.

We are passionate about the contribution clinical research makes to patient care, and we work collaboratively with NHS providers to turn that passion into effective study delivery.

The NIHR is committed to funding high quality health and care research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. Read about the principles of our finance model

Supporting Research

We cover research across 31 specialty areas, including primary care, social care, mental health, cancer and dementia.

By working alongside our Speciality Group Leads, our core team ensure the delivery and promotion of a diverse range of studies across the North East and North Cumbria.

If you’re interested in discovering more, you can contact our Senior Management team:

Contact Network Specialties Roles Email Address
Hilary Allan Primary Care, Non NHS Settings, Oral & Dental, ENRICH Champion hilary.allan@nihr.ac.uk
Angela Birt Industry Operations Manager (LCRN) angela.birt@nihr.ac.uk
Sharon Dorgan Cardiovascular, Renal, Public Health (Near and Non NHS) & Social Care sharon.dorgan@nihr.ac.uk
Gillian Johnson Ageing, Dermatology, Respiratory, Gastro, Neurology, Hepatology, Infectious Diseases gillian.johnson@nihr.ac.uk
Steven Pratt Genetics, Children, Mental Health, DeNDRoN steven.pratt@nihr.ac.uk
Susan Ridge Anaesthesia, Critical Care, Injuries & Emergency, Ophthalmology, ENT, MSK, Surgery susan.ridge@nihr.ac.uk
Justine Smith Health Services Research justine.smith@nihr.ac.uk
Penny Williams Cancer, Haematology, Palliative Care penny.williams@nihr.ac.uk
Lauren Tough CRN Lead: Industry, Cancel EOI Project lauren.tough@nihr.ac.uk
Nicky Cunningham Diabetes, Stroke, Oral & Dental, Metabolic & Endocrine  

Discover more about the Study Support Service offering at North East and North Cumbria.

Our Performance

During 2018/2019, we contributed to the employment of 798 staff, including:

    • 271 NMAHPs (Nurses, Midwives & Allied Health Professionals)
    • 234 medical staff
    • 188 research delivery support staff
    • 104 operational management and study support staff

We also supported:

  • 885 recruiting studies
  • 1,899 recruiting study sites
  • 244 Chief Investigators
  • 1,648 Principal Investigators

MedConnect North

MedConnect North is a joint initiative supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria and Academic Health Science Network North East and North Cumbria.

MedConnect North aims to offer a bespoke service to SMEs, National and International Medical Technology Companies, providing guidance and assistance throughout the Medical Technology Research and Innovation Pathway. The group supports companies to form partnerships with Academia and the NHS in the North East and North Cumbria region. In addition, MedConnect North supports NHS staff to encourage, drive and develop innovation, within their organisation.

Their vision is to provide this support in order to expedite the launch of new technologies and services to enhance and improve patient care and positively contribute to the regional economy.

For more information on MedConnect North, contact Research Operations Manager, Emma Murray (emma.murray@nihr.ac.uk)

Our Local Research Partners

In addition to the Trusts and CCGs we work collaboratively with, we also work closely with a number of local universities and several research organisations, including:

Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) 

The AHSN NENC work with their Member Organisations including the NHS Trusts, CCGs and Universities across the NENC to help them identify, evaluate, adopt and disseminate transformative innovation. They work a lot with industry, as a source of innovation and also to help industry access the expertise within the NHS that is key to the development, testing and deployment of products and services that are the basis of the UK’s Life Sciences sector.


Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, brings together the five North East Universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside in a unique collaboration to deliver world-class research to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities.

Health Education England North East (HEE NE)

HEE NE aim to offer medical and dental trainees the highest quality training, supervision and support. They believe excellence in education and training is at the heart of delivering excellent patient care.

NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)

The NIHR Newcastle BRC is a partnership between the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University.

It is one of 20 BRCs across England awarded major funding from NIHR to carry out world-class translational research and experimental medicine that benefits patients.

NIHR Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Newcastle MIC)

The National Institute for Health Research Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (NIHR Newcastle MIC) was established in 2018, building upon the success of the previous NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC) Newcastle (2013 - 2017).

We are part of the NIHR infrastructure and are one of 11 NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostic Co-operatives (MICs) in England. The role of the MICs is to build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic (IVD) tests, medical tests which use tissue samples. 

NIHR Research Design Service (RDS)

The Research Design Service (RDS) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to support research teams to develop and submit high quality applied health and social care grant applications to NIHR and other national peer-reviewed funding programmes.

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria

Our Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) for the North East and North Cumbria is a regional partnership between six universities, health and social care, local authorities, voluntary and community sector organisations, businesses, members of the public and local communities.

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