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Capacity Development

Our approach to research capacity development is underpinned by a strong oversight by the capacity development lead, Marie Chattaway from the UK Health Security Agency, and management board of which the capacity development lead is a member, and full engagement with cross-HPRU training and development initiatives and the NIHR Academy.

Our research capacity development goal is to develop a networked cadre of excellent collaborating senior and junior researchers and practitioners to support a legacy of improved research and evidence based practice in the joint analysis of genomic and enabling data in public health. Our definition of excellence includes innovation, technical excellence and impact. It also includes developing our research and practice community jointly with patients, the public, and wider stakeholders to ensure that our research benefits from these wider perspectives. We are committed to ensuring that this work respects diversity and our hosting institutions have strong track records including Stonewall Diversity Champion and Athena Swan Silver Awards.

Our objectives are to:

  • Provide an environment that is inclusive and supportive of research and other staff development
  • Provide high quality supervision, mentorship and training for HPRU staff and students
  • Provide research training and development opportunities for UKHSA staff
  • Improve skills in Knowledge Mobilisation and Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement

The HPRU hosting institutions offer exceptional research environments as demonstrated by the last Research Excellence Framework. UKHSA has developed a world leading public health pathogen genomics function including very strong academic collaborations and partnerships. Our contractual arrangements support staff and students to work across UKHSA and the academic partners, as part of this collaboration which offers an exceptional combined research environment. Junior staff and students benefit from management in one institution and mentoring from another as well as being fully supported in accessing the training and development opportunities of the NIHR academy.

Our staffing structure to develop a team that can deliver effectively includes substantial time commitment from existing senior staff and recruitment of new staff in a balanced way across grades. We ensure that HPRU students benefit from the excellent structures and support in place in each partner institution, including pastoral, mental health and wellbeing support, as well as the broader support and opportunities offered by the cross-institutional partnership. We use joint recruitment with methodologically focussed doctoral training centres where co-funding PhD students can leverage both additional research time and the benefits of membership of these training programmes complementing the opportunities of the HPRU partnership. We also support work toward PhDs, including PhD by publication, for those technical and professional staff for whom this is an important part of personal development and progression. This builds on a substantial successful track record at Warwick of working with UKHSA staff in this way.