Faculty of Medical Sciences

NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster

NIHR Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster

Driving forward the development and delivery of high quality clinical research to benefit patients and carers.

NIHR logo in front of image of neurons
Clinical Research Network National Specialty Hub funded by the National Institute for Health Research


The Clinical Research Network (CRN) specialty Cluster Hub is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and hosted by Newcastle University. The Hub has a national remit to oversee approximately 600 studies, worth an estimated £250M, in the specialty areas of:

Clinical Research Network Specialty Cluster: Group of doctors photographed from above.

What we do

We support clinical research leadership by:

Research Innovation

We lead an NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster E Emerging Technology and Innovation (ETI) project, “Innovations in Clinical Trial Design and Delivery for under-represented groups”. In this project, we aim to:

  • propose a framework that enables identification of historically under-represented groups in standard clinical trials
  • review innovations in clinical trial design and delivery which could lead to increased recruitment of those groups

We intend to achieve this aim by making extensive use of expertise available:

  • in Newcastle University, through our Faculty and our North East NIHR and NIHR Observatory partners
  • our colleagues from across the CRN, and wider NIHR

The scope of this project is a national one. It will provide the NIHR CRN and associated stakeholders with better understanding of the challenges of carrying out health research with under-represented groups.

The project will enable recommendations around innovations in Clinical Trial Design and Delivery that could increase recruitment of under-represented groups.

This will benefit both the NIHR and, most importantly, under-represented patients who have been less likely to take part in clinical research.

Blood pressure monitor

December 2018 Dissemination Workshop Resources

Innovations in Clinical Trial Design for Under-represented Groups: Adobe Spark presentation

Specialty Clusters

Our CRN National Specialty Cluster is one of six that make up the NIHR CRN Medical Directorate.

The six hosts are as follows:

  • Newcastle University
    • Ageing
    • Dementias and neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN)
    • Genetics
    • Neurological disorders
  • Imperial College London
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Diabetes
    • Metabolic and endocrine disorders
    • Renal disorders
    • Stroke
  • Imperial College London
    • Respiratory disorders
    • Ear, nose and throat
    • Gastroenterology
    • Hepatology
    • Infectious diseases and microbiology.
  • King's College London
    • Anaesthesia, peri-operative medicine and pain management
    • Critical care
    • Health services and delivery
    • Injuries and emergencies
    • Primary care
    • Public Health
    • Dermatology
    • Mental health research.
  • University of Liverpool
    • Clinical Pharmacology Specialty cluster: Children
    • Haematology
    • Musculoskeletal disorders
    • Ophthalmology
    • Reproductive health and childbirth
  • University of Leeds
    • Cancer
    • Oral and dental health
    • Surgery


The latest news and comment stories from the NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster.


We're involved in events across the year where we have active discussions about advancing health and care research.

  • Association of British Neurologists Annual Meeting 2019

    The Cluster E office will be hosting an information stand at the Meeting, promoting the work of the NIHR, the CRN and the Cluster Office.

    Date/Time: 21-23 May 2019

    Venue: The Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh

  • National Specialty Group Meetings 2019

    The Cluster E Office support the following National Specialty Group Meetings, comprising of National Specialty Group Leads, Local Leads and other stakeholders from the Clinical Research Network, industry and charities.

    Date/Time: Until January 2020

    Venue: Various venues

  • Innovations in Clinical Trial Design and Delivery for the Underserved - Refresh Workshop

    Date/Time: Tuesday 25 June 2019, 11:00 to 15:00

    Venue: Friends House, Euston Road, London

  • Contact us

    NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Hub
    Newcastle University
    Biomedical Research Building (3rd Floor)
    Campus for Ageing and Vitality
    Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 5PL


    Enter your postcode or address to find directions

    CRN Specialty Cluster

    CRN Specialty Cluster

    Ella Anderson
    NIHR CRN Project Coordinator

    Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1134

    Kimberley Down
    NIHR CRN CC Theme General Manager

    Telephone: 0191 208 1323

    Dr Gary Nestor
    NIHR CRN Assistant Specialty Cluster Lead

    Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 1334

    NIHR CRN Medical Director

    NIHR CRN Medical Director

    Professor Nick Lemoine
    NIHR CRN Medical Director

    Cluster and Alliance Lead

    Cluster and Alliance Lead

    Professor Lynn Rochester
    NIHR CRN Cluster & Alliance Lead

    Email: lynn.rochester@ncl.ac.uk
    Telephone: 0191 2081291

    National Specialty Leads

    National Specialty Leads

    Dr Camille Carroll
    National Lead Neurodegeneration

    Professor Peter Goadsby
    National Lead Neurological Disorders

    Professor Eamonn Maher
    National Lead Genetics

    Dr Helen Roberts
    National Lead Ageing