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Each member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research has been chosen by the National Institute for Health Research through a competitive process and provides an excellent research environment. 

The SPCR Fellowships are open to all researchers with an interest in starting or continuing their career in primary care research. You don't need to be employed by any of the members to apply for either a Post-Doctoral Fellowship or Primary Care Clinicians Career Progression Fellowship, but you will only be able to conduct the Fellowship as employee at any of the School members.

To learn more about the members, their research and training for early career researchers, have a look at the summaries below.

Centre for Academic Primary Care - University of Bristol

The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is one of the leading centres of academic primary care in the UK, and internationally known as a centre of excellence for research.  It has been a member of the SPCR since its inception in 2006.  

CAPC aims to provide high quality evidence to address some of the most important health challenges relating to NHS primary care, and to generate knowledge that is accessible and useful to academics, commissioners, clinicians, service providers, voluntary sector and the public. 

CAPC has over 100 staff members, including academic GPs and primary health care scientists with expertise in statistics, qualitative methods, health economics, randomised controlled trials, realist evaluations and systematic reviewing. Projects often involve collaboration with other departments. Locally we collaborate with colleagues at the University of the West of England, Bath University, ARC West, BNSSG ICB, and our local NHS trusts.


CAPC’s research is organised under four broad themes, and within each theme there are various research areas.    

The Appropriate and effective care theme includes research that focuses on diagnosis and management of illnesses mainly treated in primary care.  Key research areas within this theme focus on addiction and risk behaviours (John Macleod), cardiovascular disease (Rachel Johnson), dermatology (Matt Ridd), depression and anxiety (David Kessler), domestic and sexual violence and abuse (Gene Feder), infection and antibiotic stewardship (Alastair Hay), vulnerable populations (Jeremy Horwood) 

Theme lead contact: Matt Ridd, 

Organisation and delivery of care theme includes studies that focus on the role of primary care within the health care system. It includes projects on efficient models of care (Chris Salisbury), urgent care (Matthew Booker), global health (Christie Cabral), health informatics and digital health (John Macleod), multimorbidity and long-term conditions (Rachel Johnson), medicines and prescribing (Jenny Scott), palliative and end of life care (Lucy Selman), primary care consultations (Peter Edwards) 

Theme lead contact: Chris Salisbury, 

COVID-19 research: Projects evaluating responses to, and impact of, the pandemic, and identifying ways in which primary care and public health can respond. It includes projects on the switch to digital primary care consultations (Jeremy Horwood), behaviour change to reduce Covid transmission (Lucy Yardley), infection prevention in patients with dementia (Alyson Huntley), adherence to isolation measures (Lucy Yardley), primary care for housebound patients (Polly Duncan). 

Theme lead contact: Jeremy Horwood, 

Methodology: We conduct methodological work in collaboration with other groups, including the SPCR Research Evidence Synthesis Working Group. This theme includes projects on intervention development and evaluation and integrating qualitative studies within trials to improve their design and interpretation (Katrina Turner), systematic reviews and evidence synthesis methods (Alyson Huntley), methods for increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in research (Julie Clayton), methods for working with and linking to electronic health record data (Jess Watson).

Theme lead contact: Katrina Turner, 


The CAPC has an outstanding track record in developing research capacity in primary care amongst clinical and primary care scientist at all levels of their careers  

Award holders will have expert guidance from supervisors and access to professional research training.  Training opportunities include an internationally recognised programme of research methodology courses spanning the design of randomised trials, statistical methods, data science approaches and qualitative studies. Researchers will have access to university staff development courses including communication skills, grant writing, career management, managing people and teams.  Early Career Researchers (ECR) benefit from the excellent personal and professional development programme and training opportunities provided by Bristol Doctoral College and the ESRC South-West Doctoral Training Partnership.  ECRs also benefit from collaborating with colleagues based in the Bristol Trials Centre (BTC), and the wider University.

The academic GP trainees are also members of the Clinical Academic Training school at the Severn Deanery (programme lead Prof Debbie Sharp) which provides further supervision and mentorship and fosters collaboration with researchers from all the medical specialties. We have a particularly strong track record of supporting academic GPs in post CCT bridging fellowships to obtain prestigious externally funded research PhD awards and onwards to Academic Clinical Lectureships and Advanced Fellowships.   


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University of Bristol, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Dr Alyson Huntley; (Doctoral Fellowships)   

Dr Christie Cabral ; (Post-Doctoral Fellowships)  

Professor Debbie Sharp; Care Clinicians Career Progression Fellowship; PhD programme for Primary Care Clinicians)  

Nancy Horlick; (Professional Support)

Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care - University of Exeter

The Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) is an established centre of excellence for primary care research and education based within the University of Exeter Medical School. With a strong track-record in collaborative, impact-focused, multidisciplinary and innovative research, the work of APEx informs and responds to international, national and local priorities. APEx brings together primary care researchers, healthcare professionals and educators, and the infrastructure to interact with partners in the NHS, wider health and social care system, voluntary sector and industry.

APEx seeks to maintain and grow a dynamic community across professional groups (e.g. GPs, nurses, physiotherapists, other allied health professions) and academic disciplines (e.g. statistics, psychology, social sciences, health economics) relevant to primary care research and education and does this partly through a dynamic training programme involving undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and those combining clinical and research roles.


APEx research centres around six main themes and welcomes all interested in these and other areas. Full details of the themes can be found on our website. In summary these are:

Primary Care Focused Health Services Research, including large pragmatic clinical trials and other robust methods to examine, develop and evaluate improvements in the organisation and delivery of care. Internationally renowned research focuses on the changing workforce, alternatives to face-to-face GP consultations and digital health. Theme Lead: Professor John Campbell ( 

Ageing, Frailty and Multimorbidity, including evaluations of the clinical and cost-effectiveness of different treatment pathways and interventions in primary care and across the interface between primary and secondary care, for the prevention and management of falls, fracture and frailty. We are also one of the first groups to use primary care settings successfully to recruit large numbers of people with dementia into trials. Our portfolio of multimorbidity research includes a focus on patient involvement in decision-making in the context of living with multiple long-term conditions. Theme Lead: Professor Sallie Lamb (

Early Cancer Diagnosis, involving internationally renowned research on the epidemiology of diagnosis and the diagnostic process for cancer including the identification of individuals at high risk of cancer, optimum testing strategies in primary care and the implementation of this into the NHS and internationally. Theme Leads: Professor Willie Hamilton ( and Prof Gary Abel (

Primary care mental health, focusing on the development and evaluation of interventions and models of care to improve the management and coordination of care for people with a range of mental health problems within the primary care setting, including work with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services. Theme Lead: Professor Barney Dunn (

Global Health and the Broader Context of Primary Care considers the global drivers of health and healthcare and considers primary care in a global context, including in relation to workforce, health systems, global threats to human health (including antimicrobial resistance) and areas of global inequalities including women’s health. Theme Lead: Dr Emma Pitchforth (

Public Patient Involvement (PPI) underpins all APEx research. We have established a dedicated patient and carer advisory group specifically to support NIHR SPCR work in Exeter. The APEx approach to PPI is based on a model developed within the NIHR PenARC which has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for being innovative and comprehensive. Theme Leads: Dr Kristin Liabo ( and Beccy Summers (


Through NIHR SPCR funding, APEx supports undergraduate interns, clinical and non-clinical predoctoral fellows, PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and other early career researchers. Award holders join part of a wider, expanding training community at Exeter including undergraduate medical, biomedical and nursing students and taught post-graduate students undertaking primary care related projects, those awarded doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships funded through other means and early career researchers working on studies funded via SPCR and other sources. APEx also hosts a number of Academic Clinical Fellows in primary care.  An APEx Early Career Network provides peer-to-peer support and training. Award holders also benefit from a dynamic programme of seminars and training provided through the University of Exeter Medical School, University Doctoral College,  the NIHR Academy and other NIHR organisations locally including PenARC. APEx researchers contribute to and can access networking, training and development opportunities offered by SPCR and the Society for Academic Primary Care, including via a number of special interest groups (e.g. Cancer, Cardiovascular Research, Mental Health, Digital Technologies, Women’s Health). Award holders can also attend training provided by other SPCR members and an annual NIHR SPCR trainees event.


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University of Exeter, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Dr Emma Pitchforth; (SPCR training lead - contact for postdoctoral fellowships )

Dr Jane Smith; (SPCR training lead - contact for PhD studentships)

Dr Richard Neal; (Exeter clinical training lead - contact for Primary Care Clinician Career Progression fellowships)

Sara Hayes; (professional support)



School of Medicine - Keele University

The School of Medicine at Keele University provides an inclusive, dynamic research and training environment committed to open science and research integrity. We attract, retain, and develop a talented and diverse research workforce. Our teams are supported by a strong research and implementation infrastructure, integrated clinical partnerships, patient and public involvement, and (inter)national collaborations, in order to accelerate early adoption of best evidence into policy and practice, and of methodological innovation into research application. 

We lead the NIHR School for Primary Care Research and host an NIHR accredited Clinical Trials Unit, and a dedicated Impact Accelerator Unit (IAU). Our designated IAU works together with research teams to push the pace of translating research findings into tangible benefits for patients, clinicians, and the NHS. Based on our internationally recognised research in pain and arthritis, we are a EULAR Centre of Excellence and have been recognised as the Primary Care Centre of Excellence Versus Arthritis. Current NIHR, Wellcome and Versus Arthritis grants to the School amount to over £25 million.  


Our research spans the translational pathway from pre-clinical research to health and social care delivery and education, applying research to tackle the most challenging health problems faced by patients, clinicians, clinical educators, and societies across the world. We are nationally and internationally recognised for interdisciplinary health research in our key areas of strength. These include: 

  • Musculoskeletal health (Kate Dunn: 

  • Mental health and well-being (Carolyn Chew Graham: 

  • Electronic health record research (Kelvin Jordan: 

  • Health professionals education research (Janet Lefroy:  

We value high quality, innovative research methods and offer a platform for research in evidence synthesis, individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis, prognosis research, randomised controlled trials, cohort studies, qualitative methods, use of (linked) electronic health records, and pedagogical research in medical education.   

We have strong inter-disciplinary collaborations between general practice, clinical rheumatology, psychiatry, physiotherapy, psychology, epidemiology, statistics, health economics, pharmacy, social sciences, and health services research. Our research priorities have arisen from wide ranging consultation with patients, clinical partners and other stakeholders. These include: 

  • Developing proactive approaches to health care to prevent/ reduce long term disability  

  • Moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ model of care to one which provides tailored treatments better suited to individuals’ needs 

  • Development of new models of care delivered by primary care health professionals (including nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists), offering more accessible, holistic care 

  • Putting patients in the driving seat, allowing them to be more actively involved in decisions about their care and better supported to maintaining well-being and independence   


Early career researchers have access to a range of training opportunities including journal clubs, internal and external seminar programmes, advanced methodology seminars, and a series of workshops on systematic reviews and evidence synthesis. We host several highly successful international short courses (clinical trials, prognosis research, individual patient data meta-analysis, and prediction modelling), which are attended by postgraduate students, methodologists, and healthcare researchers from across the world. We contribute to the UK-RiME network and mentorship programme for early career researchers, hosted by the Arthritis Research UK Centre of Excellence in Epidemiology. Additional initiatives include: 

  • Mentoring by senior academics to help early career researchers strengthen their CVs and plan career progression 

  • A dedicated Fellowships Committee, responsible for supporting personal fellowship applications through actions such as independent review and feedback on applications and CVs, and convening mock interview panels with senior researchers 

  • Making funding available for staff development, e.g. funding exchange visits with international collaborators; one-to-one mentorship and coaching 

  • Supporting early career researchers in leadership training schemes via NIHR Academy, AURORA leadership development programme for women, and Advance-HE 


If you want to conduct your fellowship at Keele University, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Dr Mel Holden; (SPCR training lead)

Dr Richard Partington (SPCR deputy training lead)

Prof Danielle van der Windt; (SPCR board member)

Philippa Bailey; (professional support)

Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research - University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is the largest, single-site university in the UK. Our primary care research is cross-disciplinary and broad in its focus, addressing the over-arching research question: ‘How can we safely manage and improve the health of an aging population in primary care?’  

Capacity building is critical to our mission, and we are keen to support those interested in either qualitative or quantitative research methodologies. Applicants will join a network of researchers studying a broad range of issues affecting primary care. Our membership of the School for Primary Care Research brings together the Centre for Primary Care and Health Services Research and the Drug Usage and Pharmacy Practice Research Group, reflecting the increasing need for inter-disciplinary collaboration in the delivery of primary care services.  

Fellowship recipients will work within one or more of our research themes, benefiting from the support of other researchers working in the same area.  


Health organisation, policy and economics (HOPE) 

This interdisciplinary theme focuses upon research which investigates the supply, organisation, management and financing of health and social care services. Our expertise encompasses rigorous econometric analysis and a wide range of qualitative social scientific methods, including particular experience in the use of ethnographic approaches to understand organisational processes. We use mixed methods to study the important challenges facing health and care systems. 

Further information:

Quality and safety 

This theme focuses on conducting innovative, needs-driven and applied research to improve quality of care and patient safety in primary care, particularly in general practice and community pharmacy as well as the interface of hospital and social care. We are an interdisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians in primary care, pharmacy, mental health, informatics, epidemiology and statistics. We develop and test the mechanisms for high quality, safer primary care systems, which are integrated with hospital and community settings.  

Further information: 

Person-centred care and complex health needs 

This theme focuses on ensuring patient and professional experience is at the centre of research to address health and healthcare needs. We have particular expertise in self-management, multimorbidity, mental health and health technology assessment. Our aims are: To conduct high quality research into the delivery, effectiveness and experience of care for patients with long-term conditions. To have a demonstrable impact on the delivery of care for long-term conditions nationally and internationally. 

Further information: 

Health in a wider context 

This theme focuses on how the wider context impacts on health and on health and care policy. Our activity includes: Epidemiology and time trends of chronic conditions, processes, health service utilisation, medication use; Inequalities and regional variation (across and within English and UK regions); Spatial analyses and mapping; Risk prediction modelling and machine learning approaches; and applying statistical and econometric methods to existing secondary data to investigate the determinants of health and ill-health. 

Further information:   

The Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety  

The Centre undertakes high quality research in pharmacoepidemiolgoy and improving safety in medicines use. Particular research interests include the comparative safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology products, drug policy and risk management programme evaluation, and epidemiological methods using electronic healthcare databases.  

Further information:   


Postdoctoral fellows work closely with a designated supervisor, who will usually be a senior member of staff within the department. They are encouraged to engage with the wider academic life of the department, including seminars, staff forum and opportunities to gain experience in supervision. There are opportunities to engage with research teams working on similar topic areas, and to build links with researchers across SPCR.  

All of our postgraduate fellows have access to a wide range of training offered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Developm#mce_temp_url#ent (CARD). This includes key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing, project management, presentation skills and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy. 

The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills, and to support Fellows in developing a strong research network both within Manchester and across SPCR departments.  

The Centre also aims to support and promote the involvement of patients, the public and providers in health research, through our Patient and Public Involvement Group PRIMER. 


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University of Manchester, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Dr Tom Blakeman;  (SPCR Training lead)

Rita Chow;  (professional support)

Centre for Academic Primary Care – University of Nottingham

The Centre for Academic Primary Care provides a thriving research environment, and was ranked first for impact nationally in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment, with all impact case studies being allocated the highest possible ranking. Research outputs were also rated highly in the REF 2021 assessment with 42% classed as being of the highest possible, ‘world-leading’ (4*) quality and 54% being of ‘national’ (3*) standard.  We are a multi-disciplinary unit of over 130 people, including practicing GPs, other health professionals, psychologists, statisticians, research and support staff. 


Precision Health & Drug Safety (PRISM) research group

The PRISM research group carries out research to better identify people, or groups of people at risk of disease, and their response to specific interventions or treatments. This includes the prevention and care of major health problems, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, and common inherited disorders. Our group also conducts research on the safe and effective use of medicines. This includes investigating the prevalence, nature and causes of medication errors in general practice; evaluating patient safety initiatives; undertaking epidemiological work to assess the benefits and harms of medicines used in primary care (such as antidepressants, anticholinergic drugs and hormone replacement therapy) and assessing the safety of primary care organisations. The group seeks to influence policy and practice so that effective interventions to improve patient safety and precision healthcare are rolled out across the health service. Other research areas within the group include studying the epidemiology of diseases (including mental health conditions, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia), assessing patterns of polypharmacy and evaluation of medication reviews.

This research is achieved through application of emerging techniques in data science and advances in genomics, using large electronic health databases, combined with “translational” health service research, leading to better-targeted and effective primary healthcare.

The three research subgroups within the PRISM group, described above, are offering joint supervision of PhDs and fellowships in overlapping areas of interest, for example:

·     risk stratification in chronic disease management and multimorbidity

·     improving drug safety

·     risk prediction models for disease incorporating emerging novel markers

·     understanding and quantifying polypharmacy

·     primary care genomics health service research

For further information see webpages for our research subgroups and contact details for discussing possible projects:

or contact: Professors Nadeem Qureshi or Joe Kai

or contact: Professor Carol Coupland

or contact: Professor Tony Avery


Injury Epidemiology and Prevention

The Injury Epidemiology and Prevention Research Group specialises in the epidemiology and prevention of injuries in all age groups, including:

  • preventing falls in older people,
  • preventing injuries in childhood,
  • preventing intentional injury,
  • measuring the longer term impact of injuries,
  • improving injury outcomes and
  • evaluating interventions in primary care and community settings.

The group makes use of wide range of research methodologies including randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, observational studies and qualitative methods.

For further information see: or contact: Professor Denise Kendrick or Professor Elizabeth Orton


Smoking in pregnancy

With strong, active international research collaborations Nottingham’s Smoking in Pregnancy Group leads research into pharmaceutical, digital and counselling interventions for smoking cessation in pregnancy. We also investigate use of e-cigarettes (vaping) in pregnancy, including how vaping could be effective for preventing relapse to smoking in the postpartum. We comprise health psychologists, applied researchers and statisticians so, any fellow working within our group will benefit from effective multidisciplinary supervision. We welcome independent colleagues who propose their own research questions within our broad area of expertise but are also very experienced at helping junior clinical academics to develop ideas.

For further information see: or contact: Professor Tim Coleman:


Medical Education

The Primary Care Education Unit (PCEU) is part of the Centre for Academic Primary Care at the University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine. The PCEU team quality assure the delivery of clinical education to undergraduates across all five years of the medical curriculum. The team has a proven track record in conducting research in medical education, including projects commissioned by the Royal College of General Practitioners, Health Education England and NHS England.  Our research themes include innovative methods for delivering teaching and assessment, developing professionalism in training and promoting careers in primary care. We have broad expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methodologies with strong collaboration with other senior researchers in primary care.

Examples of projects include:

  • The utility of Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) for assessing and predicting  professionalism in medical education.
  • Developing and evaluating innovative models for building capacity and delivering clinical learning in primary care, such as near-peer education.
  • Factors within clinical training that influence student career choices in General Practice
  • Developing and evaluating digital innovations for the delivery of clinical learning, such as Virtual, Augmented and Mixed-Reality technologies.

For further information contact: Professor Jaspal Taggar


Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology (CEBD) has an international reputation for skin research and evidence-based practice. The three core areas of our activities are systematic reviews, clinical trials/epidemiology, and knowledge mobilisation, with the needs of patients and the public driving this work.

Our focus is on:

  • Skin diseases in young people (e.g eczema, childhood psoriasis, acne)
  • Skin diseases of the elderly (e.g. bullous diseases, skin cancer, cellulitis)
  • Women’s health (e.g. vulval skin disease)
  • Diagnostic criteria and outcome research

The centre hosts the co-ordinating centre for the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UK DCTN).

For further information see:, or contact Professor Kim Thomas 


Rehabilitation, Ageing and Wellbeing

The Centre for Rehabilitation and Ageing Research (CRAR) lead by Professor Kate Radford is home to a highly motivated collective of clinical and academic healthcare professionals (doctors, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and health psychologists) with an impressive research portfolio in two broad thematic areas. Rehabilitation, including Neurological, Vocational and Stroke Rehabilitation, and Ageing and Care of Older People, including care home residents.  Research runs across the translational pipeline, moving innovations in the lab into clinical practice, translating and implementing sustainable service improvement for far-reaching impact, in partnership with our Patient and Public Involvement (PPIE) Partners.

The group boasts methodological expertise in developing and evaluating complex interventions, multicentre (and feasibility) randomised controlled trials testing the clinical and cost effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions, implementation research, including theory informed process evaluations, translational research, evaluating rehabilitation technologies and developing and validating standardised tests and outcome measures.

Home to two NIHR Senior Investigators (Professors Logan and Gordon), CRAR hosts the ARC East Midlands Building Community Resilience and Enabling Independence theme, led by Professor Adam Gordon and is directly linked to Nottingham NIHR BRC through its Musculoskeletal, Surgery, Inflammation & Recovery theme, and to the EPSRC funded Rehabilitation Technology Network, building the community and creating the infrastructure for advanced rehabilitation technologies.

CRAR is directly aligned with the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), (Co-lead by Professor Pip Logan), driving the ambition for World Leading Rehabilitation Research - combining our clinical-academic rehabilitation and teaching expertise with the latest lab-based and rehabilitation technology.


Our aim is to deliver excellent translational and applied health research, across the translational pipeline, moving innovations in the lab into clinical practice.

We promote a multi-disciplinary, collaborative research and teaching environment that supports our ambition to deliver world-leading rehabilitation and ageing research, improves health and social care outcomes, and impacts on the health and wealth of the nation.

For further information see:  or contact: Professor Kate Radford   


We have a Research Skills Programme providing short seminars, covering broad topics such as health economics and qualitative research, as well as general research skills such as writing papers and presenting at conferences. In addition, we also offer access to courses on critical appraisal and research design skills.


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University of Nottingham, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Professor Nadeem Qureshi; (SPCR training lead)

Dr Amy Bourton;  (SPCR Research Manager)

Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences- University of Oxford

We conduct high impact multi-disciplinary research. This has been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework, where Oxford was ranked top for the quality of our research, its infrastructure, and the impact we make on the world. We are able to do this because we are well supported by genuinely helpful research infrastructure and have an excellent training programme for clinicians and other scientists.  

This inter-disciplinary department is home to clinicians, clinical epidemiologists, medical statisticians, social scientists and psychologists, working collaboratively on programmes to improve health and healthcare. Being a large department means we work hard at being a friendly one and are confident that we succeed. We ensure our department has progressive employment policies that value the careers of all our team and we are proud that we hold an Athena Swan silver award and are working towards gold. We aim to develop the careers of our early and mid-career scientists and to provide opportunities to form productive collaborations and develop high-level content and methodological expertise, which will enable all our team to grow their careers as scientists. 


Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health 

Our research on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in primary care focus on better detection, understanding the main causes of these conditions, new treatments, and developing and evaluating ways for people to better manage their conditions.


Health Behaviours  

The Health Behaviours Team works on interventions to prevent or treat ill-health by intervening on diet, obesity, and smoking at individual and population levels. 


Infections and Acute Care  

Our research focuses on more effective ways of diagnosing and treating patients with serious and common infections in primary care through clinical trials, health behaviours research and the NIHR Community Healthcare MIC 


Medical Sociology and Health Experiences
We study experiences of health and illness, interviewing people about what it’s like to live with conditions (such as dementia or cancer) with a particular interest in the experiences of neglected and/or minoritised groups (for example care leavers and people with HIV). We highlight how personal narratives can inform policy and improve services. We also study the organisation and delivery of care, especially primary and urgent health services, and social care. A key strand of this work includes projects examining the use of digital health technologies in the delivery of care services.

Evidence-Based Medicine and Research Methods 

Systematic reviewers, medical statisticians and health economists lead and collaborate on a variety of research projects across the department. 


Digital Health and Innovation 

Our research in this area aims to investigate and evaluate the effectiveness of applying digital tools in healthcare, with a particular focus on low-resourced national health services, where digital tools can be applied as cost-effective interventions for those with long-term conditions, and for particular groups such as pregnant women. 


The Interdisciplinary Research In Health Sciences Group (IRIHS) includes clinicians, social scientists, philosophers, psychologists, computer scientists and others. We work at the interface between health research, the social sciences and the humanities. Please contact us to discuss options for possible projects.

Big Data 

We use some of the world's largest and longest established electronic healthcare record databases to develop larger and more robust studies of routine patient data, carry out national surveillance of common diseases, create dashboards to provide up-to-date feedback on NHS prescribing, and pioneer new ways of delivering nationwide randomised controlled trials. 



The Department leads world-class research and training into the way healthcare is delivered in general practice and the community, across the UK and globally.  Our department offers a supportive environment for researchers with dedicated facilities, support staff, libraries and a multitude of training courses and opportunities for development available, while working with world leading researchers. This includes development in important areas such as equality and diversity training, Good Clinical Practice, PPI training and tailored support. Early and mid-career researchers are supported to develop their grant writing and leadership skills and attend modules from local Masters programmes or externally funded courses as appropriate and supported to present at department seminars and conferences, All clinical students are supported by OUCAGS, facilitating interaction with other clinical academic trainees across medical specialties.  


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University of Oxford, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Paul Aveyard; (Professor of Behavioural Medicine, GP and SPCR training lead)

Gail Hayward; (Assoc Professor and GP, SPCR clinical training deputy)  

Katherine Tucker;  (Senior Researcher and SPCR research training deputy)

Kristy Smitten; (SPCR Research Support Manager)

Centre for Primary Care - Queen Mary University of London

The Centre for Primary Care is one of five research centres in the Wolfson Institute of Population Health (WIPH). TheCentre for Primary Care encompasses the work of the Primary Care Unit and the Clinical Effectiveness Group.   

The Primary Care Unitbrings together expert teams to carry out research into the environment, asthma and infection, multiple long-term conditions, and the complexities of everyday experience, healthcare interactions and working practices. Their work uses a wide range of methods including qualitative and mixed methods, natural experiments, modelling, intervention development and assessment, and research synthesis.  

The Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) uses primary care health data for research, with a particular interest in reducing health inequalities and improving population health. The unit provides analyses, clinical tools, guidance and expertise to NHS primary care teams across North East London and leads the Wellcome Trust PhD programme ‘Health Data in Practice’. CEG is a founding member of the Discovery Data Service, which integrates data from GPs, hospitals and community settings in near real-time.  


The Centre for Primary Care is particularly active in the following research areas:  

Health data science, geospatial linkage, maternal health and child health/obesity immunisation. 

Common chronic respiratory conditions, in particular Asthma, COPD and TB. 

Other long-term conditions, including diabetes and living with and beyond cancer and multimorbidity. 

Studying complexity through innovative qualitative methodologies. 

Cancer in primary care, in particular early detection. 

Environmental influence on health, including air quality. 

Cardiovascular disease and inequalities in health service provision and the Discovery integrated data programme across London. 

Blood borne viruses – HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B. 

Oral health and Primary Dental Care access and organisation. 

SEM and Sports and MSK physiotherapy 

Primary Care Trials, Quantitative methods in primary care

Dementia and older people's mental

Multiple sclerosis, and women’s health in neurological diseases

Health inequalities, interventions and policies for health equity

Life-course health in cardiovascular diseases and oral health through statistical machine learning and electronic health records

Ethnic inequalities in cardiometabolic disease, pharmacoepidemiology, health data science using large scale real-world observational and genetic data 

Analysis of the effectiveness/cost-effectiveness of healthcare and public health interventions, patient safety, health policy, and inequalities in health and resource allocation

Complex interventions and digital health, health inequalities and PPI involvement in medical research

Click through for more information on the Centre for Primary Care.   


Early Career Researchers in the Centre for Primary Care and the wider Wolfson Institute of Population Health will be encourage to take advantage of the following local training and support opportunities: 

  • WIPH ECR forum with Institute funding available to support a programme of internal and external speakers and training; 

  • WIPH Research Seminar series (fortnightly) offers a rich programme of internal and external speakers with Q&A providing an opportunity for ECRs to participate in interesting discussion; 

  • “How I got my Fellowship” (every two months) invites successful applicants to talk about their experience of recently obtaining a fellowship with a Q&A to follow. These sessions have been incredibly popular across the Institute; 

  • “Curiosity Workshops” (monthly) are informal gatherings, in which researchers take turns to share work-in-progress, invite discussion, seek advice and share ideas on whatever is of most help to the researcher who is sharing their work. This might be an early research idea, a presentation in preparation, a data-analysis workshop or a methodological dilemma for examples. There is usually lots of participation and ideas generation, and plenty of shared curiosity! 

  • Various other specialist forums for statistics, epidemiology, pilot studies etc. where ECRs can exchange ideas and skills/ experience with senior colleagues working in similar areas of research or using similar methodological approaches;  


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the Queen Mary University of London, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Dr Dominik Zenner; (SPCR training lead)

Juliet Henderson; (professional support)

Primary Care Research Centre - University of Southampton

Southampton Primary Care Research Centre (PCRC) is a world-leading centre of excellence offering a supportive and friendly multidisciplinary research environment with methodological expertise across a remarkable range of research areas including: diagnosis and prognosis; improving the use of medicines; supporting self-management; healthcare communication; and data science. 

PCRC is part of the School of Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education in the Faculty of Medicine and has strong links and many shared research interests with Public Health. We also have close collaborations with Health Psychology, Health Sciences, and NIHR RDS, CTU, and BRCs locally, and excellent national and international collaborations. 

In the 2021 REF we achieved the highest rating in our unit of assessment for outputs with a Grade Point Average of 3.71 and 94% considered as 'internationally excellent' or 'world leading'.

We have a strong commitment to supporting education and training for all our students and staff, to excellent patient and public involvement and to dissemination and implementation of our research


Diagnosis and Prognosis 

Developing and testing better tools for identifying disease and predicting outcomes is essential for developing better management plans and improving outcomes. We conduct epidemiological and mechanistic studies to help develop tests, prediction rules, algorithms, and decision aids to help clinicians and patients make better decisions. We also conduct diagnostic studies and randomised controlled trials to evaluate their use in clinical practice. Work in this theme has included studies on infections, asthma, COPD, mental health problems, atrial fibrillation and cancer. 

For more information: Prof Nick Francis 

Health Care Communication 

Good communication is vital for effective healthcare. Our research aims to improve patient outcomes by optimising healthcare interactions, including developing and trialling tools to enhance empathy and positive messages, evaluating agenda-setting within consultations, and detailed conversation analysis of video- and audio-recorded consultations to improve healthcare communication. 

For more information: Prof Hazel Everitt 

Improving use of Medicines 

This theme includes trials and other high-quality research studies that aim to improve patient outcomes through improving the use of medicines in primary care. This includes studies evaluating the effects of medicines, different prescribing regimens, describing the use and perceptions of medicines through observational and qualitative studies, and developing and evaluating complex interventions to optimise use (including de-prescribing where appropriate).  

As an example, we are at the forefront of primary care research tackling antibiotic resistance by providing evidence to support the better use of antibiotics and alternative treatments for infections. 

For more information: Prof Paul Little 

Supporting Self-Management  

Supporting self-management is a key NHS priority. Building on our close links with Health Psychology, we have an international reputation for developing and evaluating complex behavioural interventions that aim to improve patient outcomes through supporting self-management. We have used this approach to help patients with a wide range of primary care problems, including: lifestyle issues, mental health problems, cancer-related distress and cancer survivorship, back pain, dizziness, asthma, COPD, respiratory infection, IBS, eczema, acne, hypertension, and weight management.  

For more information: Prof Miriam Santer 

Data Science

Our research uses large volumes of complex, heterogenous, multi-dimensional and often unstructured dataset from different sources with the aim of understanding patterns, trends, and associations of diseases to inform preventive action. We use traditional statistical methods alongside artificial intelligence algorithms to draw insights on real-world problems. This is alongside extensive qualitative research, to provide insights and gain a deeper understanding of big data interpretation and its application in both clinical and social contexts.

For more information: Dr Hajira Dambha-Miller

More about the research themes can be found on the website  


The Primary Care Research Centre, Southampton offers a broad spectrum of expertise both in methodologies and clinical topic areas. Our training and support for Early Careers Researchers (ECRs) is integrated throughout the Centre through formal and informal learning opportunities and networking, and integration of projects with wider research themes. We have regular seminars and research ideas workshops, which provide opportunities to present ideas and findings in a friendly and supportive setting. 

In addition, we have a Southampton Primary Care PhD support forum and an annual PPM PhD Research Conference where students can present and share their work: 

We are keen to attract graduates from all primary care disciplines to undertake postgraduate research. Students have at least 2 supervisors with expertise in the field and receive core and tailored training and support based on a learning needs analysis, including research methods, statistics, epidemiology, patient and public engagement, research ethics and governance. 

‘PPM CONNECT’ is an umbrella term which brings together several groups within the Centre, read more on these groups here


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University of Southampton, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Dr Mark Lown; (SPCR training lead)

Professor Hazel Everitt; (SPCR deputy academic capacity development lead)

Jane Cousins; (professional support)

Jo Kelly; (professional support)

Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health - Univercity College London


The Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health at UCL is part of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care and is headed by Prof Fiona Stevenson. We undertake world-leading research in primary care, addressing the management and prevention of disease in high-priority areas of health. We deliver high-quality teaching in primary care and population health in a range of health and community settings.

Our goals are to:

  • Undertake excellent research that is clinically relevant and impacts on health and wellbeing;
  • Provide excellent teaching in primary care, population health and research methods;
  • Strengthen the discipline of primary care through leadership in research, teaching and clinical practice;
  • Work in partnership with service users, practitioners, policy makers and other stakeholders to increase the impact of our research, teaching and innovation on health and health care systems;
  • Foster professional development to enable everyone to reach their full potential.

Our research focuses on health issues which are top priorities for patients and for health services.

We research the entire life cycle of complex interventions, starting with understanding health problems from patients’ perspectives, and using a range of research approaches (including qualitative, quantitative, modelling and health economic methods) to develop, evaluate and implement interventions. Our research groups are:

  • Ageing (Dr Nathan Davies / Prof Goya 

  • eHealth Unit (Prof Fiona Stevenson;  

  • Mental Health (Prof Irwin Nazareth;  

  • Sexual and Reproductive Health (Prof Irene Petersen, Dr Julia Bailey and Prof Greta Rait;;;  

  • Medical Education (Prof Sophie Park;  

Methodological Themes 

Our research teams involve many different disciplines, including clinicians (doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, dentists), psychologists, epidemiologists, statisticians, sociologists, health economists, and patient and public representatives (Experts through Experience). 

  • PRIMENT Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) (Prof Greta Rait; 

  • Health Economics Analysis and Research Team (HEART) (Rachael Hunter;    
  • Centre for Electronic Health Records and Methodology (CEHRAM) (Prof Irene Petersen; 
  • Centre for Excellence in Qualitative Health Research and Teaching (Dr Julia Bailey; 
  • Improvement and Implementation Science (Prof Fiona Stevenson; 
  • Intervention Development (Prof Kate Walters; 
  • Research Design Service (Prof Greta Rait; 
  • Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) (Prof Fiona Stevenson; 


We offer the Qualitative Research Methods in Health course, which aims to equip delegates with the knowledge and skills to understand, design and conduct high quality qualitative research.  Health Economics Analysis and Research methods Team (HEART) offers an introduction to health economics. We also offer workshops, master classes and bespoke training sessions on epidemiological study designs and methodologies.

PCPH has an established seminar programme where early career researchers can gain knowledge on what other people in the department are doing, as well as having the opportunity to present their work in a friendly atmosphere. There are also regular seminars on quantitative and intervention development/trial methodologies.

For PhD students the Doctoral Skills Training Programme offers courses under four themes: Engagement, Influence and Impact, Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities, Research and Governance Organisation and Personal effectiveness. Doctoral Skills Training Programme | UCL Human Resources - UCL – University College London

For early career members of staff, there is an extensive range of courses run by the Organisational Development team, to enable staff to realise their potential.  Learning and Development | UCL Human Resources - UCL – University College London


If you want to conduct your fellowship at the University College London, but not sure whom to contact for support, do feel welcome to reach out to the people below:

Patricia Schartau: (SPCR training lead)

Cini Bhanu: (SPCR Deputy training lead)

Kati Schwab: (professional support)