Newcastle granted national award to unlock talent in methodology health and care research

Newcastle has received funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Incubator award to grow capacity in applied health and care research methodology.


Established in 2018, the NIHR Incubator programme encourages networking, training and career development support for health and care professionals. Each incubator works with local stakeholders to help them identify barriers to research capacity for their community and identify solutions.


10 NIHR-supported incubators will begin in January 2024, including the renewal of the Applied Health and Care Research Methodology Incubator, led by Professor Dawn Teare, Professor of Biostatistics at Newcastle University and NHIP Academy Methodology Training Programme lead.


The NIHR supported Incubator for Methodology aims to increase research capacity in methodology applied health and care research. It focuses on how best to attract people into rewarding careers in methodology, how to retain them, and how to support the training and development pathway for methodologists to work in emerging applications in health and social care.


The Incubator works with the NIHR infrastructure and funding bodies to expand the offer and increase opportunities to apply for funding for methodological research. They currently have eight active workstreams: economics, health data science, paediatric methodology, statistics, qualitative researchers, information retrieval specialists, awareness raising, and internships and training.


Professor Dawn Teare

Professor Dawn Teare, Professor of Biostatistics at Newcastle University and the Methodology Training Programme Lead at the NHIP Academy said: “As the health and care needs of our population changes over the coming decade, there is increasing demand for methodologists to design efficient research helping to advance and make use of real-world information. This renewal is therefore an exciting opportunity to continue our work to ensure methodology health and care research careers are accessible and attractive for a broader range of people.


“Over the first award period, the Incubator gathered evidence, consulting with communities of methodologists and stakeholders. We also made recommendations, and proposed initiatives and pilot schemes directly to the NIHR Academy to increase capacity for research methodology. The renewal gives us the opportunity to build on this to demonstrate the value and impact of methodology and methodologists.”


Amy Brown, NHIP Academy Manager, said: “Methodology is one of the four key health and care career development programmes within NHIP Academy.


“The Methodology Incubator is an exciting and growing initiative that welcomes people across backgrounds and supports them to build their careers in a more connected way. It has already achieved key changes to highlight applied methodology careers, such as the new NIHR Undergraduate Internship Programme, and is championing building bridges across the traditional research boundaries promoting a positive culture for team science.”


Associate Dean of NIHR Academy, Professor Anne-Maree Keenan said: “I am delighted to announce the funding for these 10 Incubators which will help overcome barriers to early career researchers in these areas. They will work closely with the community to address their needs and play an important role in supporting under-represented groups and areas of research most in need.


“I am excited to see the positive changes they can make. They will help the NIHR shine a spotlight on these crucial areas and think creatively about how to solve the issues that they face.”


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