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Groups & Current Work

Working together to advance our practice and to shape
the health and care environment for research.

NHS R&D Forum Groups

RDF24 Conference Programme Development Group

The group develops the content of the programme for our annual conference. This conference is the flagship event of the year for research management, support and leadership in health and care and is UK wide.

Contact the group:

If you are interested in joining the group for the next conference please contact the Chair

Group Chair:

Dr Nicola Williams

Dr Nicola Williams is National Director of Support & Delivery, Health and Care Research Wales. She has been an active researcher for 20+ years, initially delivering research projects and programmes in primary care and public health. Prior to her role in Wales, she was Deputy Director of R&D in North Bristol Trust, and jointly established one of the Comprehensive Local Research Networks in England. In parallel, she has worked as a policy and change advisor to the Welsh and UK Governments, and Health Research Authority. She has been Chair of the Programme Content Group since 2016.

Group Members:

Allyson Bailey
Research and Development Officer
NHS Forth Valley

Catherine Blewett


Shahista Hussain
Head of R&D Governance, Research & Development
Joint Research Office Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Richard Leech
Research and Insights Lead
NHS Leadership Academy

Bernie Pearson
Head of Health and Social Care (HSC) R&D Governance, Northern Ireland

Angela Topping
Head of Newcastle Joint Research Office

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  • Lead new work related to the themes, in their specific areas of interest.
  • Create resources where there are gaps
  • Influence partners & invited stakeholders. Discuss their work, ask for opinions and shape policy.
  • Share expertise and gather intelligence from and for the community
  • Horizon scan for what is of interest to the community. Horizon scanning and conducting community surveys
  • Develop consultation responses
  • Act as a point of reference & contact for the members with questions or peer review
  • Feed into general Forum training, conference and events programmes.
  • Champion the NHS R&D Forum and our community.
  • Speak for and represent the research management, support and leadership community.
  • Drive the Forum forward and provide leadership
  • Strategically, proposing Forum content, providing leadership and ensuring oversight of outputs
  • As a point of contact, providing peer support to colleagues
  • As a Task and finish, producing outputs and resources
  • As a space to work out loud, sharing experience and connecting with colleagues.