Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Jan Lecouturier

Senior Research Associate and Deputy Director, NIHR, RDS NE



I am an active researcher with an established, substantial track record in health and social care research in the North East and nationally.  During my time at Newcastle University I have worked on 14 research studies and gained considerable experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods and project management. 

I have conducted a broad range of health services research including randomised controlled trials, postal and interview surveys, qualitative studies and mixed methods studies, with a variety of patient groups, from older people with stroke and hip fracture, to young wheelchair users.  Much of this work has required a high degree of sensitivity, for example when I have interviewed bereaved informal carers, people newly diagnosed with cancer, people with dementia and older people who have recently suffered from a stroke.

My skills and experience extend from in-depth and cognitive interviewing, focus groups,and thematic methods of analysis to questionnaire and interview schedule design, the conduct of surveys (postal and interview) and statistical analysis. 

Roles and responsibilities 

I currently work for the NIHR Research Design Service North East.  Including my role as Deputy Director my other roles within the Research Design Service are:

Research methodologist - first contact for health professionals and academic staff wishing to apply for NIHR or peer reviewed funding for health and social care research.  I advise on study design and methods, identify appropriate funding and other support such as support for statistics, health economics, qualitative research, literature searches and trials (from Newcastle Clinical Trials Unit).  

Qualitative adviser -  in this role I offer advice on the potential for, and value of, qualitative research in relation to the client's proposed project and how it may complement other approaches.  I also provide advice and support on research design and other issues such as suitable training, ethical issues and the resources required in order to conduct qualitative research.

For more information about RDS NE see 


1994-1997 - MSc Social Research

1987-1991 - BSc (Hons.) Upper 2nd Class Sociology & Social Research

Previous Positions

Clinical Scientist, Department of Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary (1992–1993)


Research Interests

I have a longstanding interest in patient information specifically in relation to what people understand, retain and how they make sense of the information they receivein a clinical or research setting.  This stems from research I conducted evaluating the benefits of a patient held record for patients newly diagnosed with colorectal and lung cancer.  This work highlighted the problems for these vulnerable patients - who were often under the care of several specialists - in retaining and understanding information about their treatment and care and solutions to these problems. 

This interest was renewed, but from a different perspective, in my work examining the processes and practices in the enrolment of patients to randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of hyper-acute stroke treatments, funded by The Stroke Association.  My remit was to investigate the decision making processes of patients and their families through in-depth interviews.  In conjunction with this I have conducted two literature reviews around the issue of obtaining informed consent to research, both in an acute situation and with patients who may have impaired decision-making capacity.  One relates to public views on research without consent and the other to obtaining consent in the acute situation.  The conduct of these reviews has highlighted to me the considerable amount of research evidence suggesting that patient participants often do not understand what they have consented to and the lack of consultation about what patients feel they need to know in order to make an informed decision.  My interest in information provision in the context of informed consent has developed from this work.


SURAB - feasibility study includes exploratory phase of patient and public involvement to develop trial information and clinician survey to determine equipoise.  Responsibilities: PPI, clinician survey and qualitative process evaluation of feasibility phase.

NotePad - Responsibilities: Co-lead on Implementation Phase (WP3B) - mixed methods.

TOPPITS - Responsibilities: PPI Lead.

ALTAR -  ALternatives To prophylactic Antibiotics for the treatment of Recurrent urinary tract infection in women.  Responsibilities: lead for the qualitative process evaluation.

DARE - Decision making in aortic aneurism: Responsibilities: overseeing qualitative data collection and analysis.

Understanding Frames. Responsibiilties: overseeing qualitative data collection and analysis.


ALternatives To prophylactic Antibiotics for the treatment of Recurrent urinary tract infections in women (ALTAR study). HTA Commissioned call.  Start: 2016.  End: 2020

Standing frames as part of postural management for children with spasticity. What is the acceptability of a trial to determine the efficacy of standing frames? HTA commissioned call.  Start: 2015  End: 2018

Trial of Proton Pump Inhibitors in throat Symptoms (TOPPITS). HTA Clinical Evaluation and Trials. Start: 2014.  End:2018

Innovative photoplethysmography technonglogy for rapid non-invasive assessment of peripheral arterial disease in primary care (NotePad) - i4i Challenge Award 2014-2016

Willingness of clinicians and patients to randomise into a study comparing radio frequency ablation (RFA) with active surveillance, in the management of incidentally diagnosed small renal tumours: a feasibility study (SURAB) - HTA Commissioned call.  Start: 2014  End: 2017

Are medication compliance aids helpful to users?: a qualitative study. Jan Lecouturier (Principal Investigator), Richard Copeland, Bill Cunningham and David Campbell. Royal College of General Practitioners Scientific Foundation Board, 2005-2006


Submitted funding applications as co-applicant

Multicentre, open label, prospective, single arm study of the safety and impact of Eculizumab withdrawal in patients with atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome.  HTA Clinical Evaluation and Trials programme.  CI Neil Sheerin