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NIHR School For Primary Care Research
2022 Annual Trainees Event
21st -22nd September
Denise Coates Building, Keele University, ST5 5BG
Attendance at this event is by invitation only

We are delighted to welcome invited guests to the 2022 Annual Trainees Event. This event is a wonderful opportunity for our Trainees community to get together to participate in talks, workshops and training, as well as providing networking opportunities to get to know other PhD students, early career researchers and senior academics based within the SPCR.

Our Trainees Event will be held in the Denise Coates Building, University of Keele - 21st and 22nd September. The Programme comprises of Plenary and Parallel sessions which will take place in the building's lecture theatre and breakout spaces. Guests have been allocated to sessions, the details of which will be printed on your lanyard. 

We would like to take an environmentally friendly approach to our event and therefore will not be printing the programme for all guests. Programme information will be clearly displayed throughout the event, however if you would like to download the programme onto your device please use the links below: 

2022 Annual Trainees Event - Day 1 Programme

2022 Annual Trainees Event - Day 2 Programme


Photograph of the schedule for day one of the annual NIHR SPCR Trainees event 22 September 2022

Photograph of the schedule for day two of the annual NIHR SPCR Trainees event 22 September 2022

Our Trainees Event will be held in the the Denise Coates Building, on the Keele University campus. The Denise Coates Building is home to the Keele Business School and opened in 2019. This building is at the entrance to Keele Campus and is marked as 'Keele Business School (no.51)' on the campus map. 

Please join us for registration and refreshments at the start of each day in the main atrium. Plenary sessions will be held in the lecture theatre and parallel sessions will be held across our breakout spaces - please see your lanyard for further information. 

 Map of Denise Coates building on Keele University campus


Guests that are staying on campus overnight on Wednesday 21st September have been reserved a room in the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. The hotel is approx 3 mins walk from the Denise Coates Building and is marked as 'Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (M)' on the campus map.

Check- in is available from 3pm, with check- out by 12pm on Thursday 22nd September. The SPCR Directorate team will be working with the hotel staff to help to facilitate a smooth check in process.

Breakfast is served at the hotel, 6.30am to 9.30am, and there is complimentary WiFi available. Within the hotel building there is Scholars Restaurant and Bar (including Starbucks coffee Hub) and a fitness centre for guests' use. 

Please note that parking directly outside the hotel is NOT part of your event parking permit and is charged for by the hotel. 

Keele Hall

Our evening meal on Wednesday 21st September will be served in the Ballroom of Keele Hall. Keele Hall is approx 10 min walk from the hotel, and is marked as 'Keele Hall (no.12)' on the map.

Keele Hall is a beautiful stately home surrounded by the hundreds of acres of woodland, gardens and seven beautiful lakes. It is the oldest mansion house in Staffordshire and has many original features including grand fireplaces, galleries and feature windows. 

Picture of Keele Hall© Keele University

Campus Map

Please familiarise yourself with the Campus Map.


A photographer will be present at the event on Wednesday 21st September to take photographers of the event and  a group photograph. These might be published on the SPCR website and SPCR social media. If you do not want to be included in the pictures, please inform Christina Farrall: in advance of the meeting.

There will also be the opportunity for individuals to have a professional headshot taken. If you are interested in doing this, please speak to a member of the SPCR Directorate team at registration. 


Please do not attend the event if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are feeling unwell.

We will ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air to indoor spaces where there are people present. Whilst wearing a face covering is no longer a requirement, guests are welcome to wear them if they feel more comfortable.  

The use of lateral flow tests prior to attending the event is encouraged. We will have hand sanitisers available at key locations in our buildings.

Keele University is situated in the Staffordshire countryside, right by the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and close to Stoke-on-Trent.

The postcode is ST5 5BG.

Travelling by Train

The SPCR is arranging for a minibus to bring delegates arriving by train at Stoke-on-Trent railway station to the venue at Keele University at the start and finish of the Trainees Event. If you have reserved a place on the minibus, you will receive a confirmation email which will including information on where to find the SPCR at the station and our contact details. If you would like to make use of this service, email to discuss the options available.

Unfortunately, if you arrive/ leave at a time that doesn't align with the scheduled minibus, or you are travelling to Crewe railway station, you'll be responsible for your own travel to Keele University Campus.  

There is a taxi rank outside Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe railway stations. The journey takes 15-20 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent railway station and 20-25 minutes from Crewe railway station.

From Stoke-on-Trent train station, 'First' buses operate No. 25 service. The bus stop is on your left when exiting the station, on the opposite side of the road (opposite the taxi rank). 

From Crewe bus station, 'D&G' buses (No. 85 service) to Newcastle-under-Lyme leaves from the stop to the right of the station entrance towards the roundabout. The service leaves at 5 minutes past the hour (Monday to Saturday), taking about 50 minutes, and stops in Keele village or Barnes Hall.

Travelling by Car

Keele is between Junctions 15 and 16 on the M6 motorway, and is just west of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme. Sat Nav users please use the postcode: ST5 5BJ


Leave the M6 motorway at Junction 16. At the motorway roundabout turn right onto the A500 for Crewe and Nantwich. Continue for about two miles, go left at the roundabout, continue for a further mile and go left at the next roundabout onto the A531 towards Betley. Continue on this road for approximately eight miles until you reach the Keele University entrance. From the motorway junction to Keele the journey time is about 20-25 minutes.


Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and follow the signs for the A519 into Newcastle-under-Lyme. The University is signed from the first roundabout. From the motorway junction to Keele the journey time is about 15-20 minutes.


If you are travelling on the A53 follow signs to Newcastle-under-Lyme. If you are using the A50, join the A500 (south) and then turn right at the roundabout at M6 Junction 15 and follow directions from the south (above). Travel from the M1 is easiest using Junction 23A onto the Derby bypass and following signs for the A50.


Follow signs for the A525 towards Newcastle and turn right at the roundabout at the main University entrance (signposted).

Car park information

Please note that you will require a permit to park on the university car parks. These are marked in turquiose blue on the below map (The Denise Coates building is marked SIH). Permits must be clearly displayed in your windscreen. 

University car park map

If you have not yet been issued with a permit, please contact Christina Farrall:

Parking outside the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel is not included in your parking permit and parking in the hotel car park will be charged for by the hotel. 

Keynote Speakers

Prof Richard Neal - 'Researching cancer diagnosis and screening'Image of Professor of Primary Care, Richard Neal, University of Exeter

Prof Richard Neal is Professor of Primary Care at the University of Exeter and a GP at St Leonard’s Practice in Exeter. Prior to moving to Exeter he held similar posts at the Universities of Leeds and Bangor. His research over the past 20+ years has focused on cancer diagnosis and screening. Amongst other things, he chairs the RCGP Scientific Foundation Board, is Deputy Head of the Department of Health and Community Sciences at Exeter, is Co-Chief Investigator of the NHS-Galleri Trial, and a Trustee of Prostate Cancer UK.



Photograph of Dr Jessica C Watson
DCH, DFSRH, DRCOG, BSc(Bristol), MBChB(Bristol), MRCGP(RCGP)
NIHR Clinical Lecturer in General Practice, Bristol Medical School (PHS)
Bristol Population Health Science InstituteDr Jess Watson  - 'My early career journey in diagnostic research: lessons from inflammatory marker testing"'

Dr Jess Watson is a GP and Academic Clinical Lecturer at the University of Bristol She completed her mixed-methods PhD on the topic of inflammatory marker testing in primary care in 2021, for which she was awarded the SAPC Doctoral Prize in 2022. She has a broad interest in the rational use of blood tests for primary care diagnosis, and communication of blood tests between doctors and patients. Outside of work she is a busy Mum of four and enjoys outdoor swimming and playing the violin. 


NIHR infrastructures presentation 

Prof Lorraine Harper is the NIHR Deputy Dean for Academic Programmes and supports the NIHR Academy’s development and implemented strategic changes to training, including changes to lecturer appointments. She graduated in medicine from Edinburgh university, undertook nephrology training in Birmingham where she completed a PhD in neutrophil biology. In addition to combining clinical practice with academic research, Lorraine has supported trainees to pursue an academic career for many years, first supervising clinical PhDs, as integrated academic training director at University Birmingham, and as associate dean for academic programmes at Health Education England - West Midlands.

Pam Devall is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Research Delivery Manager (Primary Care) for the NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands.

Dr Ivonne Solis – Trapala is a senior Lecturer in Medical Statistics, based at the School of Medicine, Keele University. She is Deputy Director of the Keele Hub of the West Midlands Research Design Service. 

Perspectives: Writing a Successful application

Kath Checkland is a Professor of Health Policy and Primary Care at the University of Manchester. She qualified as a GP in 1991, and still works 1 day a week in a rural practice in Derbyshire. Kath's research is based in the Health Policy, Politics and Organisations (HiPPO) group within the Centre for Primary Care in the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care.  

Lindsey Brown has been a public contributor in both research and healthcare education for the last 6 years and have been a member of PRIMER (the PPI group allied with the Centre for Primary Care at The University of Manchester throughout this time). PRIMER meets regularly to provide a patient perspective to researchers within the centre, and also provide longer term patient perspective on the steering/advisory groups that are created to support these research projects. This has also included giving a patient/public perspective on the internal funding panel. 

Dr Ralph Kwame Akyea  is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Nottingham. Ralph’s primary research focused on population health using large routinely collected electronic health records and cohort data to understand disease heterogeneity and identify characteristics of unique patient groups at greater risk of adverse clinical outcomes. 

NINR Research for Patient Benefit Presentation

Dr Ianina Conte joined the National Institute for Health and Care Research 6 years ago and she is a Senior Programme Manager at the Research for Patient Benefit programme where she manages the entire cycle of research funding from commissioning of projects, to contracting, monitoring and impact evaluation. Ianina also manages the NIHR School for Primary Care Research and has been involved in the development of the NIHR Open Research publishing platform. 

Designing effective infographics, data viz and visual abstracts 

Gavin Hubbard comes from a background in lab-based science (immunology), re-trained as a science writer working freelance for a number of companies, charities and publications, before joining the University of Oxford as a communications manager, based department of Primary Care and supporting the departments NIHR supported work and researchers.

Introduction to the NIHR’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy 

Emma Hadfield-Hudson (she/her) joined the NIHR in June as one of four new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Managers working across the NIHR.  The EDI Team will soon be launching the NIHR's first EDI Strategy which aims to sustainably embed inclusive culture at NIHR. 

Embedding EDI into Research

Dr Krysia Canvin is currently Research Fellow for Involvement and Engagement on the 3-schools’ mental health in underserved communities research programme. She is a qualitative methodologist with over 25 years’ experience of conducting research with a range of vulnerable and marginalised groups about health, mental health and inequalities. 

James Sheppard is an Associate Professor in Applied Health Research at the University of Oxford, and EDI Lead for the SPCR. His research focuses on better understanding the benefits and harms of treatments, with a particular focus on cardiovascular disease prevention. His work includes prognostic modelling, causal inference epidemiology, systematic reviews and randomised controlled trials. Beyond his research, James’ involvement in EDI initiatives includes as deputy lead for his department’s Athena Swan programme.

Virtual patient and public involvement; what, how and tips & tricks 

Esther van Vliet works for the NIHR School for Primary Care Research as Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Manager. She has worked in PPIE for 7 years at various organisations.

Miriam Santer is a GP and Professor of Primary Care Research at the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on supporting self-management for long-term health conditions. She has a particular interest in public involvement in research and is Academic PPIE lead for NIHR SPCR. 

Senior Researchers - Career Talks 

Katrina Turner  is a Professor of Primary Care Research and joint head of the Centre for Academic Primary Care in Bristol. Katrina is a primary care scientist who has expertise in qualitative research methods. 

John Campbell is Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at the University of Exeter; he also jointly leads the University of Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) and is local Director of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. John is a clinical GP, continuing to provide direct clinical care in Exeter. John is a Fellow of RCGP and was awarded an MBE in 2020 for services to General Practice. 

Research Design Service (RDS) Interview Skills Workshop

Dr John Belcher is based at Keele University and a member of the West Midland Research Design Service. He was first appointed to the Mathematics Department in 1988, as a joint initiative between Keele and the Local Health Authority. John has combined his academic career with clinical work at the North Wales Clinical School and Wythenshawe Hospital, where his remit was to promote good study design, support NHS personnel in developing research skills and deliver teaching modules/workshops in Medical Statistics.