CLAHRC SY - Supporting research careers 
CLAHRC SY supports individuals along the whole research career pathway. This includes providing experience 
in undertaking research and implementation activity, as well as formal research training from masters entry to 
professorial level. There is the opportunity to work with CLAHRC teams through secondments, placements, 
mentorship and supportive schemes such as the Pre-Fellowship Award, in a flexible and tailored way. This support
can occur both during and between periods of formal academic training in order to enhance and develop research and implementation skills and experience.

CLAHRC SY's focus on coproduction means that themes are involving practitioners, managers, academics and 
service users in most projects, building capacity through these linkages. We have developed experience and 
opportunities for researchers and practitioners to work together within CLAHRC projects. A good example can 
be found within the obesity theme. Professor Hora Soltani, based at the Centre for Health and Social Care Research, 
Sheffield Hallam University, has been a collaborator within CLAHRC SY obesity and UCHD teams working on the 
MOMTech feasibility project. She is a member of the obesity theme Advisory Group. Carol Weir who was an NHS 
Primary Care obesity lead is now undertaking her PhD within the theme.

Developing people – the CLAHRC SY Autumn 2011newsletter gives case examples of how individuals within each 
CLAHRC theme are supported in developing their research careers and building research capacity.

Research Masters

MSc Clinical Research programme 
The MSc Clinical Research programme is part of the NIHR Clinical Academic Training Pathway for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals. The programme is delivered by the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at 
The University of Sheffield. An innovative clinical research practice module, which enables students to undertake research placements with CLAHRC research and implementation teams, is hosted by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and CLAHRC SY. 

Between 2010 and 2012 a total of 40 nurses, midwives and allied health professionals (AHP) participated in the MSc 
Clinical Research funded by NIHR and other sources. These include both full and part-time students. A total of 21 professionals have graduated from the NIHR Clinical Academic Training (CAT) programme since 2009. The course has an attrition rate of zero. The majority of graduates have returned to their substantive posts and several are preparing PhD fellowship applications, whilst others have taken up research responsibilities alongside their clinical role. A masters graduate is co-author of a publication arising from her placement with the Translating Knowledge into Action (TK2A) theme. CLAHRC supports those who have completed their NIHR Masters degree to progress with a research career, but are mindful of the barriers experienced by nurses and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) in achieving support to do research in the clinical environment. We are therefore working with the managers of the newly graduated students to enable further experience and career progression. The 'Ways into Research' workshop has gained national recognition as an example of best practice enabling middle management engagement in research and capacity building.

Ways into Research - supporting your staff to deliver patient benefit
A workshop for managers and clinicians

Download here

Case examples

Placements, secondments and supporting emerging research careers 
CLAHRC SY has offered placements to a number of MSc Clinical Research and other masters students throughout the collaboration.
Some examples are included below:

  • Cathy Soreny (Nurse) and Carolyn Taylor (Dietitian) had secondments with the EQONS team and their dissertation projects were linked to Translating Knowledge into Action (TK2A) projects. Carolyn Taylor was seconded for a further period with the EQONS project to further develop her skills and work towards applying for a NIHR PhD fellowship. 

  • NIHR Intern Elizabeth Dinsdale was supported by the TK2A theme and was successful in gaining a place on the MSc Clinical Research and a secondment to the obesity theme as a research assistant.

  • Eight masters students had placements within the stroke theme. Three have secured research posts within CLAHRC: Occupational Therapist Jennifer Read (Stroke Theme and Internal Evaluation team), Speech and Language Therapist Mark Jayes (Stroke Theme) and Occupational Therapist Becky Field (Telehealth & Care Technologies TaCT Theme). Therene Roteno, a Masters in Public Health student, had a dissertation placement with the stroke team, looking at patient outcomes.

  • Four NIHR MSc Clinical Research students - Physiotherapists Penny Chisnall and Carol Keen; and Registered Nurses Nicola Bennett and Laura Makey - completed a partial or full placement with the Health Inequalities theme.

  • Caroline Mutune, had a 2 month placement with the depression theme's IQuESTs project as part of her Masters in Public Health degree and completed her Masters' dissertation with the team.

  • Speech and Language Therapist Lise Teasdale, a MSc in Clinical Research graduate, has a post jointly funded by CLAHRC SY through Research Capability Funding and the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to allow her to develop her research skills and experience. 
    You can download Lise’s research capacity story here. 

  • Mark Fisher completed his MA with the User Centred Health Design (UCHD) team. He subsequently completed a 6 month secondment with the team as a design Research Assistant designing innovative products and services to support people with chronic Asthma.

  • Jaiyeola Abiose, a Masters in Public Health student, completed a placement with the CLAHRC SY Internal Evaluation Team.

  • Three of the first cohort of completed NIHR CAT masters students went on to submit applications for a NIHR CAT Doctoral Fellowship award in 2012. Two were shortlisted and one, Jo Bird, was successful.

Economic & Social Research Council / Medical Research Council Health Economics Placements
CLAHRC SY was successful in gaining a placement award scheme from the ESRC/ MRC. These placements provide an opportunity to support working and understanding between health care decision makers and health economists. Three placements were provided.

  • Tessa Peasgood worked at NHS Sheffield for 6 months. The placement gave an opportunity for Tessa to conduct a statistical analysis on survey data owned by NHS Sheffield (Sheffield Health And Illness Prevalence Survey, SHAIPS2). This work has supplemented previous work exploring health inequalities. Tessa also provided a short course for practitioners and commissioners in NHS Sheffield to build skills and understanding in the NHS.

    For further information on Tessa's work, see CLAHRC SY Newsletter Summer 2012.

  • Jon Tosh worked at Rotherham & Doncaster & South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH). He also worked on a project to improve the efficiency of services for patients with long-term depression and provided a similar training opportunity for NHS practitioners and managers. The placement helped the RDaSH Trust improve their understanding and use of health economics in practice. Jon has since been granted an NIHR Doctoral Fellowship in the area of health economics and chronic conditions, engaging RDaSH with a CLAHRC-funded IQuESTS project to develop a commissioners' toolkit.

    For further information on Jon's work see CLAHRC SY Newsletter Summer 2012.

  • Anju Devianee Keetharuth is currently on placement at Sheffield Health & Social Care Trust working on Patient reported outcome measures.
Doctoral & Post Doctoral

Preparing for doctoral applications. 

An award was set up to support enthusiastic healthcare professionals in preparing for a NIHR Research doctoral fellowship application. The award funded protected time away from the pressures of everyday work. Help and mentorship was provided from CLAHRC during this preparation phase. A total of 16 PhD students have been funded by CLAHRC SY (15 fully funded and 1 partly funded).  A further 37 PhD students have been supervised by CLAHRC SY researchers.

Case Example
Physiotherapist Chris Littlewood was awarded a CLAHRC SY Fellowship Preparation Award in November 2010 and has since been successful in gaining a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship. His project is a mixed methods study to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a self-managed exercise programme versus usual physiotherapy for chronic rotator cuff disorders and he is working with the CLAHRC SY Core Team.

PhD Studentships within CLAHRC SY
Support for capacity building includes providing studentships and support for PhD students within the CLAHRC themes. A total of 22 PhD students have been supported by CLAHRC themes.

Case Examples can be found in Developing People CLAHRC SY Newsletter Autumn 2011.

Post Doctoral awards 
Dr Ian Brown, and Dr Simon Palfreyman are NIHR Clinical Lecturers supported by Obesity and TK2A CLAHRC themes. They both have NIHR Interns working with them and into CLAHRC.

Speech & Language Therapist, Dr Rebecca Palmer, is a HEFCE/NIHR Senior Clinical Lecturer working in the TaCT/Stroke theme.


Four new Professorial Chairs have been awarded to CLAHRC SY researchers:

Ade Adebajo,Honorary Professor, Health Services Research at the School for Health and Related Research (ScHARR), 

The University of Sheffield
Paul Bissell, Professor of Public Health, The University of Sheffield
Ann McDonnell, Professor in Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University 
Angela Tod
, Professor in Health Services Research, Sheffield Hallam University


An evaluation of the secondments of 15 clinical and academic staff who work on implementation projects has been completed. This has demonstrated the added value that secondments bring to the CLAHRC in terms of the contribution secondees make to projects, the skills in knowledge translation that individuals develop and the expertise that secondees take back to their employing organisation. For example, skills in facilitating change in practice, integrating learning into the health curriculum.

Case examples
Paul Bliss, a Senior Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist in the Sheffield IAPT service had a one day per week secondment with the Depression Team to support the development and implementation of agreed interventions via the SHSC Focussed Depression Team as part of Work Package 3.

The Translating Knowledge into Action (TK2A) theme website has a series of case examples where secondees reflect on their experiences of working on TK2A projects.
Further information here