Faculty of Medical Sciences

About our CRN Specialty Cluster

What we do

Championing the Role of Individuals in Clinical Research Leadership

We champion the role of individuals in clinical research leadership and are responsible for the national strategic and operational support of clinical leadership across our specialties. Our clinical leaders drive forward the development, delivery and realisation of high quality research which provides benefits for the health and well-being of patients and carers.

Spearheading Initiatives

We do this by spearheading initiatives that enhance the engagement of our external & internal stakeholders. We also work at a national level on projects to encourage and utilise emerging technologies and innovations in the NIHR CRN.

Monitoring and Influencing the Research Environment and Agenda

Our work focusses on monitoring and influencing the research environment and agenda, nationally and internationally, and translating changes into that environment. The ultimate aim of this is to develop and support the clinical research workforce nationally. So our national clinical leaders engage with research funders, governments, professional bodies and royal colleges, clinical standard authorities, and the wider NIHR.

In-Reach within the NHS to Champion Research

Another focus is extensive in-reach within the NHS and professional engagement with NHS partners across the country to champion research as a way of improving the health outcomes of patients. We also aim to achieve this by involving patients and the public.

medical collaboration

Emerging Technology and Innovation

The aim of our NIHR CRN Specialty Cluster E Emerging Technology and Innovation (ETI) project, “Innovations in Clinical Trial Design and Delivery for under-represented groups”, is to propose a framework that enables the identification of groups who historically are under-represented in standard clinical trials; and to 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 both in Newcastle University through our Faculty and our North East NIHR and NIHR Observatory partners, as well as our colleagues from across the CRN, and wider NIHR.

The scope of this project is a national one, to provide the NIHR CRN and associated stakeholders with a 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 be used to increase recruitment of under-represented groups. This will ultimately benefit both the NIHR and ultimately and most importantly under-represented groups of patients who were previously less likely to take part in clinical research.


emerging technology and innovation

Other CRN 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.