Education, Training and Project Support

Within this section you will find information on:

  • Guidance on Protocol Development
  • Student Research
  • Statistical Support
  • Training
  • Library Literature Search Facilities




Section under construction.

 For information in the meantime please contact email:




Many members of staff are studying for a higher degree, and this generally includes a research project, to be carried out and written up as a thesis or dissertation.  Usually, the project is to be carried out within the service where the staff member works.

The Research Support Service is frequently asked for advice about designing such studies, and getting them under way.  We are happy to help, but we do ask that your supervisor is kept aware of any help you are getting.   Normally, seeking such help is not regarded as a problem, - in fact, collaborating with others is a key research skill.  However, we do not wish to trespass on the university's legitimate interests.  There can be good academic reason for a project to be done somewhat differently where it also has to fulfill course requirements.

Several of us have recent experience of working for a degree alongside a full-time appointment, so we understand the pressures this can bring.  We invite you to book an appointment with one of us, as soon as you have an idea of what your project will be about.

Your project will need internal approval by the university - the body that does this may be called a university (or faculty) research ethics committee.  This is the means by which the university carries out its role as sponsor under the Department of Health Research Governance Framework. 

Sometimes, the university will express a preference for the NHS body employing the student to act as the sponsor.  If this happens, please contact us as soon as you can, so that any possible misunderstanding can be averted.

Timescales can be tight if your project needs new data to be collected, and especially so, if you need a favourable opinion from a NRES ethics committee as well as from the university.  In this case, do consult us well in advance.  Occasionally, we find that university tutors are not up to date with practice around the Research Governance Framework and NRES.  If you feel you are getting conflicting advice, we may be able to mediate.

Sometimes, we are asked for help during the earlier stages of taught Master's courses, particularly for modules involving statistics.  In principle, if you are having difficulties with a module, you should approach your tutor or head of the academic department, rather than us.  However, we have been known to offer assistance with understanding material that has been taught, though of course we cannot help you write your assignments.



Chris Foy, Medical Statistician, can offer help with your statistical queries.  These might come under several guises:

  • You are trying to follow the argument in a published paper, to inform your clinical practice, and you don't entirely follow the statistical presentation.
  • You are designing a research project, and you need help in deciding what your outcome measure should be, how many participants you need, or how you should collect and analyse your data.
  • You have already collected data, and are in need of help with analysis.

The first two of these are generally straightforward to sort out - it is the third that can be problematic.  We cannot offer to enter data into a spreadsheet for you, or clean up data that has already been entered.  However, given a clean spreadsheet and a clear research question, it should be possible to undertake some analysis.

If you have a statistical query, it is best to make the first approach by email to  As Chris is the only statistician employed for this kind of work, and is sometimes on leave, or away at meetings, a same-day response cannot be offered, but a timetable fair to both parties can be agreed upon.



The Research Support Service can put you in touch with most kinds of training that would help you undertake a research project.  For further information on Training provided please click here



  • Do you need evidence to support your case for a new service or funding?
  • Do you feel you don't have the time or confidence to search for yourself?

If so the library can help you find the answers you need.  You can email the library with the information or fill out an online Literature Search Form.

If you are a student preparing for an assignment unfortunately they cannot do a search for you.

To find out more about Literature Search please visit the library webpage on literature searches