NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria appoints new Senior Manager for Public Health Research
The NIHR Clinical Research Network North East and North Cumbria (CRN NENC) has recently appointed a new Senior Manager for Public Health Research. The new role was created as part of a project looking to further develop the support that CRN NENC can offer to public health research.
Public health research is about improving the health of the public and reducing inequalities in health. It covers areas such as obesity, lifestyle, chronic disease prevention, mental health and wellbeing, environment, sustainable development, and social determinants of health. Many public health studies take place outside of clinical environments, across a wide range of community and local authority settings.
CRN NENC’s reach into public health research is currently limited, with only a small number of the CRN NENC’s portfolio of studies classed as ‘public health’ in the past year. The aim of this project is to raise awareness of the support and services the CRN NENC can offer among universities, local authorities and other organisations that carry out public health research. A further part of the project is to work hand-in-hand with public health professionals to make sure existing support systems are fit for purpose.
The new Senior Manager for Public Health Research role will be filled by Laura Renwick, who will be moving from her previous role as Research Operations Manager for primary care in CRN NENC.
Laura Renwick, soon-to-be Senior Manager for Public Health Research at CRN NENC, said: “I’m looking forward to working much more closely with our public health colleagues across the region and exploring the ways we can improve our current support systems and increase the accessibility for public health researchers. There is already extensive support and expertise on offer via our Study Support Service and Direct Delivery Teams; for example, study costings advice, systems training, and guidance on what makes a study eligible for CRN support.
“We plan to work collaboratively with our public health partners, listening to them to find out how best to direct this support and improve our offering based on what would be most useful.”
Chris Speed, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the CRN NENC, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to create this new role. It is a further demonstration of the importance we place upon public health research and researchers. With the advent of the Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) in the region and the additional investments we have made to support public health teams in Local Authorities, the future for public health research looks very positive. I am delighted that Laura has been appointed to the role, she has a wealth of knowledge in public health and will bring high levels of knowledge and insight to this important work.”
The new Senior Manager for Public Health Research will be working closely alongside Dr Emma Giles and Dr Balsam Ahmad, the two newly-appointed regional Specialty Group Leads for Public Health, and Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health which brings together the five North East universities of Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside.
Laura Ritson, Manager of Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, said: “I’m delighted that Laura has been appointed as Senior Manager for Public Health in the Clinical Research Network for our region. Her role will strengthen the relationship between CRN and the North East universities in the Fuse collaboration, and help researchers better understand the support available both in and outside traditional NHS settings, including local authorities. It will also increase access to wider support and resource to deliver impactful Public Health studies. Fuse is looking forward to collaborating with Laura and the CRN more closely.”