National Institute for Health Research
Collaboration for Leadership in
Applied Health Research and Care –

Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire
University of Nottingham

This is a legacy web site

This legacy website is no longer maintained with the latest information. CLAHRC NDL ended in December 2013.

Some functions are no longer active, such as submission or enquiry forms. Contact or other information (including hyperlinks) may be out of date and should not be relied upon.

A new CLAHRC East Midlands is now operational. Visit or follow @CLAHRC_EM on Twitter for more information.

Our Approach

Co-production of knowledge and practice
for the benefit of patients

What makes our CLAHRC special is that we base our approach to research on the principles of co-production between NHS and social care staff, academic staff at the university and service users in their workplace. This means that research is designed and conducted at the workplace for the workplace so that the implementation of research is merely an extension of working practices established during the research. The research then refines practice so practice is improved.

Co-production is a simple idea but often hard to implement in the workplace. It’s about academics, clinicians, professionals and service users working jointly to identify and tackle research priorities. No-one owns the research completely because it is the sum of many people’s ideas.

Our Diffusion Fellows have a crucial role in linking the worlds of research and practice.

Theory into Practice diagram  

Co-production with Diffusion Fellows

Diffusion Fellows are essential to the success of the CLAHRC-NDL. They provide a crucial role, linking the distinct worlds of research and practice.

Diffusion Fellows are seconded for a day a week from our NHS partners and carry out a variety of roles, doing research, acting as an ambassador for CLAHRC-NDL, as a capacity builder and as a change agent.

Each of our 16 clinical research studies has one or more Diffusion Fellows attached to them. Visit our research pages to find out more. For a full list of our Diffusion Fellows, with links to the studies they are working on, see our Who's Who page.

Knowledge brokers [and boundary spanners] are people whose job it is to move knowledge around and create connections between researchers and their various audiences...[they] share information between research and practice, which helps to close the ‘know-do’ gap.

 Meyer 2010

Co-production with Patient and Public Involvement

PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) is a crucial element in all our research studies and we have recently appointed a PPI Engagement Fellow to assist researchers in identifying the best ways of involving and engaging patients, service users and carers and members of the public.

Co-production with charities and voluntary organisations

Charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations have a strong voice in identifying research priorities and implementing the findings of research. We are building relationships with appropriate charities, self help groups and voluntary organisations to make sure that we include all knowledge, skills and experience for the benefit of patients.

Co-production in Communities of Practice

All of our research studies are developing Communities of Practice, bringing together practitioners in health and social care services with service users, academics and other interested individuals who want to support innovative practice. In many instances the Diffusion Fellows are central to the formation of the community of practice, which tries to engage staff who were not originally involved in these studies to take an interest in the projects as they evolve.

Co-production with you

CLAHRC-NDL brings together service users and carers, commissioners, health and social care providers, managers and researchers to make a real and lasting difference to health and social care in the region.

This is an opportunity to shape future health and social care in the region. Anyone with an interest in our work is invited to become a CLAHRC Associate. We would like to learn from your experiences of success and failure, and hear your views on what research is needed in the future. Networks of CLAHRC Associates will actively support putting current and future research into practice.

All Associates receive our range of publications, including ‘Engage’ newsletter twice a year, monthly briefings, and invitations to conferences, seminars and events through the year.

To find out more, or to register as an Associate, see our Becoming an Associate page.

Assessing the impact of co-production in Implementation

Implementation means three different things in CLAHRC-NDL:

  1. The first meaning is about whether patients and study recruits are likely to adopt a new treatment, intervention or lifestyle.
  2. The second meaning is about whether an organisation or group will adopt a new policy or change the way a service is provided.
  3. The third meaning is about the study of how implementation happens, and this is also known as Implementation Science.

All three types of Implementation apply in CLAHRC-NDL.

An Implementation researcher works with the majority of these 16 studies to assess the implementation of research into practice by our NHS partners and to make recommendations in real time to increase their impact. This includes:

  • Carrying out a series of research projects on a range of innovations recently implemented in partner NHS organisations.
  • Undertaking organisation research to understand the barriers and facilitators involved in implementing these findings.

Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care - Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire


Institute of Mental Health
University of Nottingham Innovation Park
Triumph Road

Telephone: 0115 823 1253