Research improves our understanding of health and disease, it is vital to improving patient care and outcomes.

Health professionals need evidence from research to know which treatments are most effective. Our dedicated research department manage the review, set up and delivery of a range of research projects across the Trust.

We are research active in several clinical areas delivering a range of different projects from clinical trials of new drugs or interventions to studies involving questionnaires and data collection. Some research is simply collecting information about diseases, some people help us by telling us their opinion or experience and some people are involved in creating and testing new products. There are many ways to be involved. If you would like to discuss opportunities to get involved with research please contact a member of the team.

To find out more about research in the UK please click here

Or view our poster about some of our current research active areas here

Getting involved in research makes a difference, click here to hear real life stories from research participants.

You can find out more about our research within Obstetrics and Gynaecology here.

Patient data and research

The below links explain how health research uses information from patients. If you are asked to take part in research, you can ask what will happen in the study:

Meet the team

The research team are based at Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital. For more information please contact:

Deepali Varma, Director of Research

Claire Livingstone, Head of Research

Fiona Wakinshaw, Research Manager

Carly Brown, Lead Research Nurse

Patient Research Ambassadors

We strongly believe that Patients and Public should have the opportunity to give feedback and be involved in shaping the future of research.

We have a group of Patient Research Ambassadors who help by giving us their perspective and by talking to patients about their experience of participating in research.

“I am a retired deputy head teacher who was treated for throat cancer in 2009. I am free of cancer now but have other problems as a result of the treatment.

Until I was introduced to research by my speech therapist, I didn’t realise anyone could get involved and in so many different ways.

Since then I have taken part in many different areas of research and promoting research. I have been involved in a randomised controlled trial, in patient workshops as part of a qualitative study, in organising research days for patients and staff and other work such as patient panels. This led to me being invited to become a patient research ambassador (PRA) I decided to become a PRA to try and spread the word that research is happening in our hospitals and encourage other patients and carers to get involved.

I feel it’s extremely important that as many people as possible get involved in research. It helps the NHS find out what works and what doesn’t work but most of all it gives us, the patients, carers and local public a voice in our future treatment and care.

Please come and join us!”

Val, Patient Research Ambassador for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

To find out more about how you could shape the future of research please contact 

Information for Researchers

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:

Our Performance

The government want to see a dramatic and sustained improvement in the performance of all NHS providers undertaking clinical research.

The aim is to increase the number of patients given the opportunity to participate in research and to ensure research is set up efficiently.  From October 2014 all NHS Trusts have been required to publish their performance against two targets.

To see our trust's PID submission please click on the links below

Performace for Research 

Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professional (NMAHP) 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 (based at South Tyneside site)

NIHR 70@70 Senior Nurse Research Lead 

01914041000 ext 2260


Lynne Palmer- Lead Research Nurse (based at Sunderland site)

01915656256 ext 42167


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 


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.

Click here for further information

Events and Opportunities

Stay tuned for upcoming research events and opportunities!