Skip to main content


What is PenCLAHRC? | The PenCLAHRC model | Our research | Who we are | Our partners | The CLAHRC network | Governance | Management Board | Executive Groups

What is PenCLAHRC?

PenCLAHRC is the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South West Peninsula. We are a partnership of NHS Trusts across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, plus the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. Our five year grant from the NIHR is matched by an equal amount of match funding, the majority of which is provided in kind by our University partners. We also receive some match funding from the South West Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), other NHS bodies and charities.

PenCLAHRC has three key objectives:

1. To increase the volume and quality of patient-focused research in the South West

2. To improve health outcomes by more effective use of evidence to drive health services

3. To increase capacity within the health economy to use and generate evidence

Our model of partnership working across the whole research and practice continuum aims to address both the much discussed research-into-practice gap and the equally important practice-into-research gap.

Download our flyer (pdf) for a summary of what we do.


The PenCLAHRC model

In order to maximise the impact of our current NIHR grant, which runs from 2014 - 2018, the PenCLAHRC model is based on spending the core grant on infrastructure (namely staff, but also essential functions such as patient and public involvement) and to use this resource to support the development of external grant applications in order to fund larger research projects. During the first five years of PenCLAHRC (2008 – 2013) this approach secured £17.5m in external grant funding. An internal evaluation (pdf) of this five year pilot phase was carried out to learn from our experiences and to inform the direction of the current NIHR grant.


Our research

PenCLAHRC research falls under five main themes, each with its own academic lead. Summaries of the key aims of each theme and examples of associated projects are shown on our Research Themes page. Details of current and completed projects can be found by searching our Research and Projects database.

Research Theme Leads
Person-Centred Care Professor Nicky Britten and Professor Richard Byng
Mental Health and Dementia Professor Chris Dickens and Dr Joel Town
Diagnostics and Stratified Medicine Professor Chris Hyde
Healthy People, Healthy Environments Professor Charles Abraham
Evidence for Policy and Practice Professor Ken Stein


Who we are

PenCLAHRC directly supports about 60 members of staff and 15 PhD students, primarily across sites in Exeter and Plymouth. Some of our staff our grouped into teams specialising in specific areas of research; PenCHORD (the Peninsula Collaboration for Health Operational Research and Development), focusing on quantitative modelling techniques; EST (Evidence Synthesis Team), health services researchers with expertise in evidence synthesis methods; and our Implementation Science Group, understanding how to put effective health care into practice.

We also support a a number of NHS colleagues who work closely with us and have a wide network of affliated colleagues across the South West. You can find out more about our team via our staff database.

Leadership and Management

Professor Stuart Logan

(PA: Stella Taylor)

Deputy Director (Exeter) Professor Ken Stein
Deputy Director (Plymouth) Professor Richard Byng
Operations and Finance Manager Mrs Jo Shuttleworth
Engagement, Research Information and Communications Manager Dr Sara Hayes
PenCLAHRC Administrator Mrs Cath Hopkins

The work of PenCLAHRC is also supported by the Management Board, Strategic Executive Group (SEG) and the Project Oversight Executive Group.


Our partners

All NHS trusts across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset (not including Bristol and Avon) are members of the collaboration, in addition to both regional universities and the local Academic Health Science Network:

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Devon Partnership NHS Trust Livewell Southwest (formally Plymouth Community Healthcare)
Northern, Eastern and Western (NEW) Devon Clinical Commissioning Group NHS England South: Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scily area team  and Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire area team (Somerset locality only) NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust Plymouth University
Public Health England South West Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (host organisation)
Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group
South West Academic Health Science Network South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust University of Exeter Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust



The CLAHRC network

The pilot phase of the CLAHRC programme (2008 - 2013) funded nine CLAHRCs across England. This number has increased to 13 in the second round of CLAHRC funding (2014 - 2018). These CLAHRCs are:

NIHR CLAHRC North West London NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber
NIHR CLAHRC West Midlands NIHR CLAHRC South London NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester
NIHR CLAHRC North West Coast NIHR CLAHRC North Thames NIHR CLAHRC Oxford

The CLAHRC network is supported by the CLAHRC Partnership Programme.

You can read more about some of the work that CLAHRCs have been involved in nationally in our brochure, World Class Research Making a Difference (pdf).



PenCLAHRC is governed by a Management Board, which includes representatives from all partners in the collaboration. PenCLAHRC is managed by a Director who is accountable to this Management Board.

The Director has two small Executive Groups, made up of the research theme leads, NHS liaison leads and various management roles including deputy directors and leads for communications, implementation and patient and public involvement.

Each PenCLAHRC project has a separate project team which reports to the Project Oversight Executive Group. Each team is led by an academic lead, supported by a Research Manager. One member of the Executive Group is nominated to take overall responsibility for the delivery of each project.

A patient, carer and public led advisory group, the Peninsula Public Involvement Group (PenPIG), has also been established with the role of ensuring that adequate account is taken of the need for involvement is all aspects of PenCLAHRC's work. As well as reporting to the Executive Group, it also has representation on the Management Board and on the Stakeholder Prioritisation Panel which determines priority projects from the question generation process.


Management Board

The PenCLAHRC Management Board is chaired by Professor Mary Watkins, Non-Executive Director at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT).

The Management Board meets twice a year, normally in April and November. Each meeting is held using video-conferencing between three sites in Exeter, Plymouth and Truro.

Terms of Reference and minutes from all meetings are avalibale to view on the Management Board and Executive Groups page of our website.


Executive Groups

There are two Executive Groups within PenCLAHRC, the Strategic Executive Group (SEG) and the Project Oversight Executive Group (POEG). The SEG meets quarterly, while the POEG meets every four to six weeks, depending on project activity.

Each meeting is held using video-conferencing between three sites in Exeter, Plymouth and Truro.

Back to Top

Upcoming Events


PPI Advice Clinic

Plymouth, ITTC Building (PL6 8BX)

Whatever your query, from finding out more about Patient and Public Involvement to creating a PPI...
More information


Searching and Review Clinic

The University of Exeter, St Luke's campus, South Cloisters (Room 2.35)

These clinics have been set up to help the PenCLAHRC Evidence Synthesis Team to manage and respond...
More information



Dr Nick Axford appointed as Associate Professor

21 April 2017

Dr Nick Axford joins PenCLAHRC this week as Associate Professor in Health Services and will...
Read more

Want to stay mentally healthy in older age? Stimulate your brain in early life

20 April 2017

Stimulating the brain by taking on leadership roles at work or staying on in education...
Read more

Job Opportunity - Trial Manager

10 April 2017

The University of Exeter Medical School is seeking a Trial Manager to take a lead...
Read more


Research Projects

Comprehensive Mouth Care and Post-operative Pneumonia (CUPPA)

Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice

A pilot study to see if comprehensive mouth-care reduces the incidence of post-operative pneumonia in...
Read more

Changing Agendas on Sleep, Treatment and Learning in Epilepsy - A long term condition of children (CASTLE)

Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice

PenCRU and the Evidence Synthesis Team are working with families, charities and health professionals specialising...
Read more

Research Projects