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Frequently asked questions

Please find answers to some commonly asked questions. If you have a question that isn't answered below please get in touch.

What is PenCLAHRC?

PenCLAHRC is a partnership of all the local NHS Trusts across Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, plus the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth. Our grant is matched by an equal amount of matched funding, the majority of which is provided in kind by our University partners. We also receive some matched funding from the South West Academic Health Science Network (AHSN), other NHS bodies and charities.

PenCLAHRC has three key objectives:

  • To increase the volume and quality of patient-focussed research in the South West
  • To improve health outcomes by more effective use of evidence to drive health services
  • 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.

Category: General

Where does PenCLAHRC operate?

PenCLAHRC covers all of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall (including the Isles of Scilly). It is possible, however, for some research projects to include sites outside this area, particularly if a comparison site is required.

Category: General

Who are PenCLAHRC?

PenCLAHRC directly supports around 60 members of staff and 15 PhD students, primarily across sites in Exeter and Plymouth. We also support a number of NHS colleagues who work closely with us and have a wide network of affliated colleagues across the South West.

Leadership and Management
Director Professor Stuart Logan
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 Lisa Cashmore
PenCLAHRC Administrator Mrs Cath Hopkins

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

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

Category: General

What can PenCLAHRC do for me?

There are several ways PenCLAHRC is trying to help more patients and members of the public, health and social care professionals, and academics in universities become involved in what we do. These opportunities include:

  • Allowing healthcare workers to inform our research programme
  • Aligning research with real world healthcare priorities
  • Helping to clarify and specify uncertainty
  • Supporting the development of research bid proposals
  • Supporting development and undertaking research
  • Promoting use of evidence in practice
  • Evaluating change and implementation within health care organisations
  • Helping to inform Trusts' research and development agenda
  • Bridging the research/practice gap
  • Improving the opportunities for your research question to be acted on when you don’t have the time or resources

Category: General

How do I get involved?

A key part of the process is based on the “Engagement by Design” model, whereby health care professionals, service users, health and social care organisations will be involved at all stages of the research. The model works to bridge the gap between research and practice by identifying effective interventions, implementing them and evaluating the implementation.

This process begins with identifying important issues. We tackle this in a number of ways, including discussions with stakeholders. If you are interested in arranging a workshop with colleagues to help develop issues and uncertainties you may have into research questions, please contact us via email. Alternatively, you can submit questions to us directly via our online tool. You can find out more about our research prioritisation process on the Submit a Question page of our website.

We also offer a range of training opportunities for healthcare professionals and the public to develop their skills in accessing and using research to inform clinical practice and decision-making.

Category: General

Does PenCLAHRC fund projects?

PenCLAHRC does not fund projects directly. We can, however, help develop research ideas in order to help them attract external funding. For example, if we prioritise a research question that requires a systematic review of the literature, our Evidence Synthesis Team may be able to help by conducting the review. Similarly, our operational modelling team PenCHORD can support research that involves simulation studies.

Category: General

Does PenCLAHRC employ staff?

Yes. Any job opportunities are advertised through our academic partner organisations, the University of Exeter and Plymouth University. You can also find information on current opportunities on our News page.

Category: General

Upcoming Events


LKD Seminar: Staging evidence: the...

Room 2.13, South Cloisters, St Luke's campus, Exeter

Learning, Knowing, Doing Series Seminar Speaker: Kate Beckett, University of the West of England, Bristol Kate’s background...
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Creating Communications Seminar - ‘Reaching...

Exeter South Cloisters 3.06, Plymouth JBB MR8, Truro KSpa F10.

Speakers: Kirsty Heber-Smith and Tara Lamont Locations:  Exeter South Cloisters 3.06, Plymouth JBB MR8, Truro KSpa F10. Tara Lamont is deputy director of the NIHR Dissemination Centre  which promotes...
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Plymouth researchers are recruiting local smokers to major national study looking at reducing cigarette consumption

05 March 2018

A £1.8m study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is looking for...
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Investigating the association between chronic heavy drinking and dementia

22 February 2018

PenCLAHRC researcher, Dr Iain Lang, has commented on a new study published in The Lancet Public...
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Partner In Focus - South West Academic Health Science Network

17 January 2018

As a partnership of NHS Trusts across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, plus the Universities of...
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Research Projects

How can schools best support parents' engagement in their children's learning?

Theme: Evidence for Policy and Practice

This project aims to address how schools can best engage parents in their children’s learning....
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What are the effects of 'robopets' on the health and wellbeing of residents in care homes? A systematic review of qualitative and quantitative evidence

Theme: Mental Health & Dementia

A systematic review that aims to create a state-of-knowledge synthesis on the impact of robopet-human...
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Research Projects