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PHRADA Who we are – Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber

PHRADA Who we are

PHRADA Who we are


Janine Bestall (PHRADA Co-Lead)
0113 343 5114

Janine is the RDS YH site lead in Leeds and a Senior Research Fellow in applied health research at the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds. She completed her PhD in London assessing the effect of pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with COPD using a range of outcome measures focussed on quality of life and wellbeing. She worked for the Cochrane Collaboration in the Cochrane Airways Group undertaking systematic reviews of therapies to treat asthma. She led projects in primary care and palliative care. Janine was a commissioner in Public Health and lead for the self-care programme. This was part of the integrated care transformation programme for patients with long term conditions in Kirklees. She currently leads a series of qualitative projects embedded in mixed methods studies. The focus is on the experience of patients receiving interventions as part of clinical trials, mainly for those with cancer or long term conditions. The patient experience research is used to gain insight of how to deliver improvements in the quality of health care or the research process. She is a generic adviser for the RDS for all aspects of proposal development and an expert adviser on qualitative methods.


Alexis Foster
0114 222 6129

Prior to becoming a researcher, Alexis worked in third sector organisations and in public health roles including undertaking community development, delivering health promotion activities and establishing support services for carers. Alexis is a mixed methods researcher with almost ten years of experience. Her work includes evaluations of housing support services, social prescribing for people at risk of loneliness and community groups for people experiencing bereavement. She has recently competed a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship exploring the implementation of outcome measures in third sector wellbeing activities. The work included producing a co-designed toolkit for third sector organisations and commissioners. Alexis is passionate about putting people at the heart of research and is experienced in undertaking participatory research and ensuring patient and public involvement is integrated into the development and delivery of studies.


Dr Louise Hayes (PHRADA Co-Lead)
0191 208 5711

Louise has a background in epidemiology and public health and a particular interest in the prevention and management of obesity and chronic disease through lifestyle intervention. She has been an adviser for the RDS NENC for 4 years and is the hub-lead for North Cumbria.


Dr Sarah Hotham
01227 827759

Dr Sarah Hotham is a Senior Research Fellow and BPS Chartered Psychologist based at the Centre for Health Service Studies (CHSS), University of Kent.
Sarah’s expertise is in applied health research and behavioural psychology. She has successfully secured funding from the NIHR, Local Authority Public Health teams, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), Active Sports Partnerships and Voluntary Community & Social Enterprise organisations to develop, implement and evaluate behaviour change interventions and prevention schemes. Sarah also leads a portfolio of projects focused on loneliness and social isolation in older adults. These projects include social prescribing programmes, Link Worker referral schemes and larger whole system approaches such as ‘Ageless Thanet’ -a five-year National Lottery-funded initiative from the Ageing Better programme. She acts as an expert adviser on a number of Kent & Medway (K&M) Local Authority advisory groups–K&M Stakeholder Engagement Advisory Group, K&M Self-Care & Prevention Group, K&M BAME Covid-19 response group and as such has extensive knowledge on the role of research and evidence in Local Authorities. Sarah is also experienced in participatory approaches, designing evaluations in collaboration with delivery partners and commissioners in Public Health teams.


Helen Munro-Wild
01707 289363 (ext 8563)

Helen Munro Wild is a Research Fellow and NIHR advisor for the Research Design Service (EoE). She has worked in public health for almost 20 years, at a national, regional and local level in organisations including the Health Protection Agency, London Health Observatory, Public Health England and Hammersmith and Fulham local authority. She has an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and tropical medicine (2005) and research experience in both infectious and non-infectious diseases, overseas and in the UK. She has worked within the school of Psychology, Sport Science and Geography at the University of Hertfordshire since 2017. The main focus of her research has been on the development of a self-management scale for people with chronic kidney disease on haemodialysis. As part of her role as an NIHR advisor, she has taken on the role of public health champion and has been involved in the development of regional collaborative networking between public health practitioners and academics.

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