Clinical research is essential for improving care and outcomes for patients.  

South Tyneside & Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT) are a research active Trust with studies and trials taking place in most clinical specialties. We have a dedicated research team who ensure the efficient set-up and delivery of all research. With funding provided by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) we deliver a wide range of NIHR portfolio studies.  It is our aim to enable as many patients as possible get the opportunity to take part in research. We lead and sponsor a number of studies and actively collaborate with universities including University of Sunderland and Newcastle University and are involved with a growing number of industry collaborations. 

Transforming lives through research

The Research Team 
Our Research Governance team manage the set up and approval of all research studies and trials in accordance with REC, HRA and the UK Policy Framework for Health and Social Care Research.  The video below explains what the Research Governance team ensure before research can take place across STSFT.

Research Governance: Keeping Research Safe for Everyone

We have a team of staff who support the delivery of research across all clinical specialties; roles include Research Nurses, Research Practitioners and Data Managers.  

Research Priorities 
The Research Strategy sets out our research priorities for 2024 – 2029.  These are linked to delivery of 4 aims 

  • Aim 1 - Embrace inclusivity by putting our patients and public at the heart of research 
  • Aim 2 - Create a culture of excellence through the governance and delivery of high quality practice changing research 
  • Aim 3 - Engagement and collaboration with stakeholders to drive inward investment to build capacity and capability in research 
  • Aim 4 - Create an environment to support all staff to embrace research in day to day practice 

Research Annual Report 2022/23

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International Clinical Trials Day - Monday 20th May 2024
Display Stands at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital Main Concourses

Red4Research Day - Friday 7th June 2024
Display Stands at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital Restaurants 

STSFT Research Conference - Friday 5th July 2024 (EMBEDDING A CULTURE OF

Lecture Theatre, Education Centre, Sunderland Royal Hospital

Training and Education

CRN Training Brouchure

The NENC Clinical Research Network has recently published a new brouchure of learning and development courses in health and social care research, including dates for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training. Please visit link below for more information. 

CRN L&D Courses 2023

NHS HRA Student Research Toolkit

Are you a life sciences research student? Or do you supervise students who undertake research in a UK health or social care setting? NHS HRA guidance and resources can help you to decide if the research is eligible and what approvals you need/ 

Student Research Toolkit

GCP Training

Good Clinical Practice (GCP) is the international ethical, scientific and practical standard to which all clinical research is conducted. It is important that everyone involved in research is trained or appropriately experienced to perform the specific tasks they are being asked to undertake.  

Please click here to do GCP training.

Research & Development Forum Training Courses:

HRA Learning

Funding Opportunities

Are you looking to develop your research skills to act as a Principal Investigator?

This is a great scheme to support you in developing in the PI role, locally leading on an existing NIHR portfolio study.

Take a look at the below/ attached for more information.

Nb. As per ICH GCP a Principal Investigator is, 'A person responsible for the conduct of the clinical trial at a trial site. If a trial is conducted by a team of individuals at a trial site, the investigator is the responsible leader of the team and may be called the principal investigator.'

If you would like to discuss this in more detail please get in touch with  or

Green Shoots Funding


Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHP) Funding Opportunities

There are many research funding opportunities circulated throughout the year:

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has multiple research programmes that researchers can apply to, each of which funds different types of research: 

Visit National Institute for Health Research | NIHR Researchers for more information on:

  • Funding Opportunties

  • Applying for Funding

  • Career Development 

HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme:

The Health Education England (HEE) / National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme provides research training awards for health and social care professionals, excluding doctors and dentists, who wish to develop careers that combine research and research leadership with continued practice and professional development. 

For more information visit: 

HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic Programme

Current Opportunties:

The NIHR Doctoral Fellowship funds individuals from a range of health and social care professions to undertake a PhD in an area of NIHR research.

The Fellowship funds:

  • full salary support, including protected time to concentrate on research

  • PhD fees and research costs

  • a bespoke training and development programme to meet individual needs

Click here for further information.

Please click here for further information.

Research Governance

Research Governance Team

Governance Team:

  • Fiona Wakinshaw, Research Governance Manager 


  • Paula Madgwick, Research Governance Facilitator 


  • Alison Atkinson – Research Governance Facilitator 


Generic Email Address –

Study Setup and Capability & Capacity Guidance Video

Before you can begin your research you must have the necessary permissions from the various regulatory bodies. The research department is dedicated to supporting research across the Trust.

If you are a researcher wanting to conduct research with us we are happy to guide you through the process.  
Useful links for information and support for conducting Research can be found in the links below:

Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professional (NMAHP) Led Research

Our Trust strongly supports the develop & delivery of high quality Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professional (NMAHP) research & innovation.

We are committed to harnessing the wealth of knowledge & talent within our NMAHP workforce & aim to continue to develop our research capacity and capability in line with the regional NIHR Building Research Capacity & Capability in the NMAHPs strategy 2017-2020.

We are keen that research is for everyone and welcome interested staff including those who are new to research & those keen to continue their research journeys to get in touch with us.

  • Do you want to learn more about how to #MakeSpace4Research in your busy clinical role?

Click here: #MakeSpace4Research 

  • Are you wondering what you path in research could look like?

Click here: #yourpathinresearch 


Our Team

Please feel free to get in touch with our colleague below with any questions/ ideas:

Carly Brown

Lead Research Nurse

NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse Research Lead


Carly Brown.jpg

Dr Yitka Graham 

Speciality Group Lead, Health Services Research

Head of the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute

Associate Professor in Health Services Research


yitka graham.JPG



Sponsored Studies

STSFT is the lead site and sponsor for all research in the COLOSPEED collaboration.

COLO-SPEED - Overview 

We lead several CI Lead commercial trials sponsored by a range of different pharmaceutical companies.