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Core Management Team

CLAHRC for South Yorkshire's Core Management Team offers direction and support to the CLAHRC programme, with members bringing expertise in a number of valuable areas. We provide several functions to the CLAHRC programme:

  • Leadership
  • Raising our profile nationally and internationally
  • Supporting joint working, enablement and flexibility
  • Supporting co-production with industry, charities, other NIHR and NHS Innovation Infrastructure,
    local authorities, patients and the public
  • Capacity development
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Recognition and protection of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Sustainability

A brief outline of the role and background of each member is shown below, and more about the functions of the Core Team
can be found in the Core Team Leaflet, here.

Professor Sue Mawson - Director

Sue Mawson is Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Sheffield. Sue's research focuses on improving the quality of life for people with longterm conditions, particularly through exploration of the effectiveness of rehabilitative interventions and patient reported outcome measurements. Her research has capitalised on newinnovations in sensor and digital technologies, integrating clinicalrehabilitation researchers with digitalmedia, user-centred healthcare designers and engineering specialists.

Sue provides overall leadership andstrategic direction, and was responsible for forming the CLAHRC SY consortium.

Sue Mawson photograph

Professor Stuart Parker - Associate Director

Stuart trained in clinical and experimental gerontology in Newcastle upon Tyne and the Netherlands. His current research interests focuson health services for older people including the assessment of health status, acute care, care transitions, case management, intermediate care and rehabilitation. He is Director of R&D for Barnsley NHSFoundation Trust, Vice Chair of the UK Clinical Research Network (UK CRN) National Speciality Group for Age and Ageing, and Associate Director for CLAHRC.

Stuart isresponsible for aspects of scientific quality and rigour within CLAHRC, as well as providing strategic direction.

Stuart Parker photograph

Jo Cooke - Programme Manager

Jo initially trained as a nurse at the University of Manchester, and held a variety of clinical nursing posts in primary care. She was the lead research nurse for Community Health Sheffield in the mid 1990s and became a Research Fellow at ScHARR (School for Health and Related Research), University of Sheffield during this time. Subsequently she held the position of Associate Director for Research in Practice, based at the department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield. Immediately prior to her role in CLAHRC Jo was Director of Trent Research and Development Support Unit, based in ScHARR.

Jo supports the Theme Leads and Project Managers in meeting their objectives through collaborative problem solving, promotes cohesion of CLAHRC by facilitating cross-theme activities, assists in managing the budget with the research accountant, and provides leadership in research capacity building and the internal formative evaluation.

Jo Cooke Photograph

Christine Smith - Associate Programme Manager

Christine has a background in nutrition. After obtaining a MMedSci in Human Nutrition she joined the Department of Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield, where she worked as a doctoral student and a research assistant from 1994 to 2003, researching the short and long-term effects of preterm birth on skeletal development. In 2003 she joined the R&D department at Barnsley Hospital NFT, where her role is to facilitate research within the Trust and increase research capacity. Her research interests are obesity, the process of translating research into practice and the evaluation of complex programmes.

Christine works as Assistant Programme Manager and as a Research Fellow in the Internal Evaluation Team. She contributes to the capacity building role of CLAHRC, working with individuals within a series of research skills workshops.

christine smith photograph
Dr Kathy Jeays- Ward - Communications Lead, Project Manager

Kathy has a background in developmental genetics, first at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and later at the University of Sheffield. Staying at the University of Sheffield but moving into research support enabled Kathy to become involved in developing cross-departmental research networks, and to co-ordinate development of a skills training programme for early career researchers. More recently she has moved into multi-disciplinary, multi-organisational research project management.

Kathy's role as Core Team Project Manager covers diverse activities including operational support, reporting, finances, events, and supporting quality within the programme. As Communication Lead she is responsible for a broad range of communication activities at local and national levels.

Kathy Jeays-Ward photograph

Jenny Powell - Administrator

Jenny has considerable experience of working across health, social care and academic sectors. Her experience from an NHS perspective comes from her work with the Research Department at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, with a focus on research training.

Her experience in higher education is in student support and research support. She has previously worked on research projects funded by the National Lottery, Wellcome Trust, Service Delivery Organisation and Economic and Social Research Council.

Jenny provides administrative support to the Core Team and has many administrative responsibilities including communications, diary co ordination, systems maintenance training and meeting organisation.

Jenny is the first point of contact for a wide range of CLAHRC-wide activities.

jenny powell

Professor Kate Gerrish - Implementation Lead

Kate Gerrish is Professor of Nursing Research at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and holds an honorary appointment as Adjunct Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. During a professional career spanning 30 years, Kate has held a variety of clinical nursing and midwifery posts in community and hospital settings and has extensive experience of undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and multi disciplinary health professional education. Kate has a long-standing research interest in evidence-based practice and approaches to achieving knowledge translation. She has undertaken commissioned research for a number of national funding agencies and has published widely in the field.

Kate's contribution to CLAHRC is twofold. As Implementation Lead within the Core Team she provides direction and support for implementation work across CLAHRC themes and co-ordinates a range of initiatives to support capacity and capability building for implementation. Kate also leads a crosscutting Implementation Theme entitled 'Translating Knowledge into Action' which takes forward projects concerned with promoting the uptake of research findings into healthcare practice.

kate gerrish photo

Steve Ariss - Evaluation Lead

Steven is a Research Fellow in the School of Health and Related Research (ScHaRR) at the University of Sheffield. He has a background in sociology and an interest in health services research which ranges from micro-level analysis of healthcare interactions to the evaluation of large scale healthcare programmes and policies. He has worked for the NHS co-ordinating a research network for older people's mental health, and came to Sheffield in 2009 from the Bradford Dementia Group (University of Bradford) where his work included self-management for people with dementia and their carers and evaluation of the Partnerships for Older People Programme (POPPs).

Steven leads the Internal Evaluation through designing and coordinating mixed-methods approaches and applying current evaluation theory and evidence; acting as a 'critical friend' to the programme, to recognise impacts, and identify and address development opportunities.

Steve Ariss photograph

Jennifer Read

Jennifer is a senior stroke specialist Occupational Therapist, with 14 years clinical experience, and is a research associate within both the Stroke Theme and the Internal Evaluation Team. She completed a Masters degree in clinical research in 2010. She continues to work clinically within STH and actively promotes the use of research at clinical level. Jennifer's research interests include stroke, cognition, rehabilitation and improving the patient experience, especially for those with cognitive, psychological and communication difficulties post-stroke.

Within the Evaluation Team Jennifer undertakes a wide range of activities such as qualitative data analysis and contributing to team outputs including reports, publications and presentations.

jennifer read

Professor Ade Adebajo - PPI Lead

Ade is a consultant rheumatologist as well as being heavily involved in research and education. He has been involved for many years in patient and public engagement for the Arthritis Research Campaign and is currently a board member of the Arthritis Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) as well as the Department of Health and IHR INVOLVE (a not-for-profit organisation of public participation specialists). As a member of the Core Team, Ade's role is to facilitate and promote patient and public involvement (PPI) across CLAHRC SY. He also provides strategic linkages with key PPI partnerships such as the RDS, CLRN as well as external PPI partnerships with other CLAHRCs and with organisations such as NIHR INVOLVE.

His membership of the CoreTeam is a reflection of the huge importance that South Yorkshire CLAHRC places on patient and public involvement.

Ade Adebajo photograph

Dr Jill Thompson

Jill has researched aspects of public involvement since 2005, including a PhD that she completed in 2010. She moved to the Core Team from the Telehealth and Care Technologies Theme where she worked as a Research Fellow. Jill's role as PPI Associate Lead and researcher builds on her research profile, exploring the complexities of engaging with PPI within the SY CLAHRC. She works with CLAHRC themes to provide training and support for those wishing to engage with PPI.

Jill is also building links between CLAHRC and the patient, carer and service user community, identifying opportunities for collaborative work and public dissemination of CLAHRC work.

jill thompson

Gill Sarre - Research Capacity Lead

Gill has a professional background in Speech and Language Therapy and worked in a variety of clinical posts before becoming Head of Speech and Language Therapy Servicesin Nottingham in the 1980s. She moved into NHS R&D management and led two successful bids for NHS Research Support Funding for Nottingham Community Health Trust before taking up post with Trent Research and Development Support Unit (RDSU) - now NIHR Research Design Service (RDS) for East Midlands - supporting primary care research management and governance partnerships and research capacity development in Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). She continues to work part time for RDS EM alongside her CLAHRC role.

Within CLAHRC Gill supports NHS organisations in building their research capacity; helping trust R&D leads to audit organisational research capacity using the Auditing Research Capacity (ARC) tool, build capacity development into R&D strategies and facilitate networking, information sharing and learning opportunities.

Gill Sarre photographh


National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (CLAHRC SY) acknowledges funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

CLAHRC SY would also like to acknowledge the participation and resources of our partner organisations. Further details can be found here

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and the National Institute for Health Research.
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