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 Stuart Logan, Cerebra Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology.

Explore our research groups

We work across the following research groups:

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.

Complex Interventions
The Complex Interventions Research Group aims to improve the evidence which underpins health care interventions, particularly those delivered by allied health care professionals, using programmes of integrated and sophisticated mixed methods research.

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 Complexity Group
The Health Complexity Group is a multi-disciplinary team offering professional and academic research, teaching and consultancy services to those involved in commissioning and providing services in health & social care, social & urban regeneration, and in user and community engagement.

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 Services and Policy
The Health Services and Policy Research Group provides evidence to inform decision making and the organisation and delivery of high quality health services that are safe and patient-centred.

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.

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

Mental Health
The Mental Health group are responsible for developing a mental health research strategy built around existing strengths, and will link with regional partners to develop a wider mental health strategy for the South West.

PenCLAHRC
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) South West Peninsula - or PenCLAHRC - 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.

Psychology Applied to Health (PAtH)
PAtH primarily research the mechanisms by which behaviour patterns relevant to health develop and change and can be changed through intervention.

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.

DeStress
The DeStress group aims to examine why and how people’s ability to cope with poverty-related issues has become increasingly pathologised and understand how high levels of antidepressant prescribing and use are impacting on people’s health and wellbeing in low-income communities.

Explore our research impact

Explore some of the many highlights of our research impact 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.