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The Institute of Health Research

The Institute of Health Research

The Institute of Health Research

The Institute’s research strengths lie in applied health research and underpinning methodological work. Its focuses on research that reflects the needs of patients and of health service providers, based on partnership with the NHS and other public bodies and a strong commitment to public involvement.

The Director of the Institute of Health Research is Professor Claire Hulme.

Explore our research groups

We work across the following research groups:

Behavioural Science Research Group

The Behavioural Science Research Group (BSRG) focuses on the application of behavioural science theories and methods as applied to health and wellbeing.

Child Health
The Child Health Team works with children, their families, healthcare professionals and practitioners to understand and explore the issues that matter to them and to co-create research with them to find possible solutions including new ways of delivering services.

Cognitive Neurology Research Group
We research psychological aspects of brain function and neurological disorder using methods drawn from clinical neurology, neuropsychology and brain imaging.

Cancer diagnosis (DISCO) (Primary Care)
The DISCO team focuses on diagnostics, mainly in cancer. The team's research explores using risk as the basis for selecting patients for the investigation of possible cancer.

Evidence Synthesis & Modelling for Health Improvement (ESMI)
ESMI specialises in the synthesis of research evidence for health policy and practice.

European Centre for Environment and Human Health
The Centre conducts world-class research into the complex links between the environment and human health. 

Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx)
The Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEx) focuses on establishing the South West Peninsula as a national centre of excellence for primary care research and education.

Exeter Test Group
The Exeter Test Group has expertise in using research on tests to inform policy and methods of improving the understanding of research on tests. 

Health Economics
The Health Economics group research is focused on informing decisions around the delivery of health care and on the economic aspects of health and disease, including research on the factors that determine our health and wellbeing.

Health Statistics
The Health Statistics Group provides statistical expertise in the Medical School, including statistical leadership on health topic-based research projects, and the development of statistical methods to address methodological challenges in such studies.

INTERSECT: Interdisciplinary Translational Rehabilitation Research Centre
University of Exeter, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and a range of partners in the South West peninsula have a vibrant history in rehabilitation, aging, orthopaedics, sport science and human performance research. INTERSECT brings together strengths from across these disciplines, organisations and the cutting-edge facilities that Exeter has invested in to research human movement.

Medical Imaging
The primary research theme within the Medical Imaging group is musculoskeletal imaging and associated pathophysiology.

Mental Health
The Mental Health Research Group (MHRG) conducts high-quality applied research using a range of methodologies, with the aim of understanding people’s experiences of mental health and illness, influencing policy and practice at national and international levels, and improving outcomes for individuals and their families.

PenARC The NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula undertakes high-quality applied health research focused on the needs of patients and supports the translation of research evidence into practice in the NHS.

Primary Care
This research group focusses on clinically relevant applied and translational research focussing on the organisation, delivery, and quality assurance of general practice based primary care.

The PROTECT Study will gather data and support innovative research to improve our understanding of the ageing brain and why people develop dementia.

The Qualitative Research Reference Group
The Qualitative Research Reference Group is a group of experienced qualitative researchers belonging to different topic-based research groups within the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health (CMH).

The Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health

Relational Health Group

The Relational Health Group works with schools, neighbourhoods and workplaces to create the conditions for health and reduce health inequalities. We have developed a relational approach to understanding the barriers to health and wellbeing, co-creating ways of addressing these issues, as well as evaluating their impact.

The Third Gap
The Third Gap team work with patients, rather than about them, on topics of concern to those who use health services and the general public.


Explore our research impact

Explore some of the many highlights of our research impact on our Research Impact page and through our videos below.

Dr Chris Clark's research is in blood pressure, including postural hypertension and nurse and allied health professional-led care in hypertension.

Professor Karen Knapp's research is in medical imaging, including bone health and osteoporosis, and the challenges in medical imaging.

Professor David Richards's research is in applied health, making lives better for people with health conditions, principally depression.

Professor Linda Clare works with people with dementia to understand what helps them to experience a good quality of life and live well with the condition.

Professor Rod Taylor's cardiovasular research involves acting as an international coordinating centre and developing new interventions for heart failure patients for rehabilitation at home.

Dr Vicki Goodwin is a physiotherapist working with older people, developing treatments and rehabilitation programmes to improve patients' quality of life.