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Sheffield – Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber


Sheffield advisers

Wendy Baird
0114 222 0819
RDS YH Director
Wendy is the Director of the NIHR RDS for Yorkshire & the Humber as well as a Professor of Health Services Research at ScHARR, University of Sheffield. Her research has largely been related to assessment of health care needs in people with a disability with particular emphasis on oral health, multiple sclerosis and older people in rural areas. Most recently her research portfolio has been in the field of multiple sclerosis around the establishment of a population based register of people with MS in the UK.
Jill Carlton
0114 222 0799
Senior Research Fellow
Jill Carlton is a generalist adviser with a particular interest in supporting fellowship applications. Her research centres upon the ‘lived experience’ and quality of life. She has experience of developing and refining patient reported outcome measures, or PROMS (questionnaires) that can be used to measure and value health. Previous projects include developing PROMs in mental health, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and diabetes.
Sharon Caunt
0114 222 2979
RDS Sheffield Manager
Sharon is the Manager for the Sheffield spoke of the NIHR RDS YH. She is also an adviser providing generalist advice and support to researchers on applications for research funding. She worked within a Clinical Research Organisation performing Phase I and II scintigraphic trials before completing her PhD and post-doctoral research in molecular oncology at Sheffield Hallam University. Since 2012, she has been the Research Coordinator for the Academic Directorate of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she develops and manages their research portfolio including NIHR funded projects; she also provides regulatory and governance support to designated researchers, and coordinates their Patient and Public Involvement panel.
Robin Chatters
Research Fellow
Robin is based at Sheffield Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU), where he assists investigators in the design and costing of clinical research and oversees CTRU involvement in funded projects.
Robin has primarily supported projects for the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and Medical Research Council (MRC) funded randomised controlled trials (RCTs), in a variety of clinical areas including occupational health (the Lifestyle Matters trial), reproductive health (the Endometrial Scratch trial) and adolescent scoliosis (the ‘BASIS’ trial - Bracing Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis).
Simon Dixon
Professor of Health Economics
Simon is a Professor of Health Economics within ScHARR and is the Academic Lead for Innovation within the Sheffield Healthcare Gateway within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health. His research primarily relates to economic evaluations alongside clinical evaluations, either in randomised controlled trials or early phase studies. He also has an interest in global health, and holds an Honorary Chair at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He has sat on NIHR and EU funding panels and is a regular review of applications and reports for several funding bodies.
Munya Dimairo
Research Fellow in Medical Statistics
Munya leads statistical support in the design, conduct, monitoring, analysis, and reporting of studies within the University of Sheffield Clinical Trials Research Unit. This includes overseeing multiple projects that are at various stages to ensure high-quality delivery. Munya leads and collaborates on methodological research aimed at improving efficiency in the conduct of trials as well as the implementation of innovative and efficient designs within the unit, such as adaptive trial designs. His vast research interests are around innovative clinical trials statistical methodology and their translation into routine practice. Munya also serves as an independent statistician on trial steering and data monitoring committees of several publicly funded clinical trials.
Jane Fearnside
0114 222 4384
Deputy Director & Research Fellow
Jane is Deputy Director for the Yorkshire and Humber Region of the NIHR Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber (RDS YH). Jane is also the Innovation Lead for RDS YH and works closely with other NIHR/NHS England & Improvement organisations and funding programmes to support health and social care research involving innovation. Jane offers generalist advice and support to researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to the NIHR and other national, peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.

Her current research involves evaluating novel diagnostic testing for adrenal insufficiency with the Diabetes and Endocrinology team at Sheffield Teaching and Children's Hospitals. Previous roles include post-doctoral research at the Cancer Clinical Trials Centre at Weston Park Hospital within the Late Effects Team and The Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, investigating the genetics of diet-induced insulin resistance and diabetes.
Alexis Foster
0114 222 6129
Research Fellow
Prior to becoming a researcher, Alexis worked in third sector organisations and in public health roles. She is a mixed methods researcher with almost ten years of experience. She has worked on trials, secondary data analysis, qualitative studies, service evaluations, participatory research and different types of systematic reviews. Alexis' research interests include third sector organisations, wellbeing and loneliness interventions and psychosocial interventions for longer-term conditions. She has recently competed a NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship exploring the implementation of outcome measures in wellbeing activities. The work included developing a toolkit for third sector organisations and commissioners. Alexis is passionate about ensuring patient and public involvement is integrated into the development and delivery of studies.
Cara Mooney
Research Fellow
Cara joined the University of Sheffield in 2013 as a research assistant in the Clinical Trials Research Unit working on the PLEASANT trial and assisting on the Healthlines study. She is currently the trial manager for the Multiple Symptoms Study 3, TRICEPS, MERIDIAN and STOP-OHSS and is a co-applicant on the RHABIT methodological project.
Prior to joining the University, Cara worked on a health promotion programme within Rotherham NHS Maternity Service. She has also done voluntary work on a number of weight management programmes.
She became Lead Trial Manager in 2021, providing support for study management staff including providing advice on implementation and co-ordinating training development.
Michaela Senek
Research Fellow
Michaela is a mixed methods researcher with almost eighteen years of research experience. She has done lab immunology research, worked on trials, secondary data analyses, epidemiological studies, and different types of systematic reviews. Michaela’s research interests include health services research and maternal health. She joined UoS and HSS as a Research Associate after a PhD undertaking a feasibility RCT intervention with pregnant women with obesity. Since joining UoS, Michaela has worked on a range of research and consultancy projects, focusing on nursing workforce and quality of care research. Previously, she has worked on several projects including evaluations of infectious diseases during economic crises at LSHTM. For a short period, she worked as a Technical Analyst within the NICE Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme. She is joining the Yorkshire Quality & Safety Research Group as a Senior Research Fellow, to work on the large trial testing of a new portable, sensor-based device to give an accurate check of NG-tube position, - which would make naso-gastric (NG) tube placement, and so NG-tube feeding, safer for patients.
Nikki Totton
0114 222 5450
Clinical Trial Statistician
Nikki is a clinical trial statistician who began her career at Bangor University before moving over to The University of Sheffield in 2017 and started a PhD in 2021 based around the design and analysis of clinical trials. She has experience with randomised controlled trials as well as other study designs such as time-series studies, quality improvement studies, surveys etc). Her specific research interests include non-inferiority trials, benefit-risk methods and pilot and feasibility studies. Within the RDS, Nikki offers general study design advice as well as specific statistical aspects such as sample size calculations and proposed analysis methods.
Allan Wailoo
0114 222 0729
Professor of Health Economics & Decision Science
Allan Wailoo has worked in Health Economics in ScHARR since September 2000. His research interests are: Cost effectiveness modelling, value of information methods, equity and procedural justice in health and economics of wellbeing and happiness.
Tracey Young
0114 222 0837
Senior Research Fellow - Health Economics
Tracey has been an adviser for the RDS in Sheffield since its inception. She provides generalist advice and specialist advice in health economic study design and analysis. Tracey has over 20 years’ experience in health services research and has work in both trials and observational studies and has experience in the design of quality of life measures. She is interested in methodological issues in health economics and quality of life. Most recently her research portfolio has included: haemodialysis, early onset Huntington’s disease and alcohol treatment centres.