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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

New mentorship scheme for world-class researchers appoints Health Sciences academics

Published: 11 September 2012

Five Health Sciences academics from the University of Southampton have been appointed as research mentors to the recently launched National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) mentorship scheme.

Funded for three years by the Department of Health, the Chief Nursing Officer and the Chief Scientific Officer, the scheme aims to develop world-class researchers across the healthcare professions in England by providing high quality mentorship to healthcare researchers awarded with national research fellowships.

The Mentorship for Health Research Training Fellows will foster an on-going community of mentorship across England.

Health Sciences at the University of Southampton is a leading centre nationally and internationally for developing clinician researchers in nursing and allied health and is currently one of only seven in the UK to be awarded NIHR-funded Masters places as part of the Clinical Academic Training Pathway.  

The Faculty's academic researchers,  all highly qualified and experienced in their healthcare field, include Dr Lesley Collier, senior lecturer in occupational therapy; Dr Lisa Roberts, Arthritis Research UK senior lecturer in physiotherapy and consultant physiotherapist; Dr Catherine Bowen, senior lecturer in podiatry; Susan Latter,  professor of nursing; and Dr Jo Adams,  senior lecturer and professional lead for occupational therapy. 

A powerful development tool, the primary aim of this mentorship programme is to support Health Sciences' key NIHR-awarded researchers to develop into a strong workforce of clinical academics who have the capacity to make a positive impact on quality of care and productivity of services.

Professor Jessica Corner, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, commented: "As a world leading centre for the development of researchers in nursing, allied health and health sciences we are delighted to be participating in the NIHR scheme and that five of our academic staff will be directly supporting NIHR research training fellows.

"There is a serious national shortage of individuals with the expertise and experience to address critical issues for the NHS in relation to quality of care and the scheme is an important step in building future capacity for this agenda."

Susan Latter, Professor of Nursing and Head of Organisation and Delivery of Care Research Group at the Faculty of Health Sciences, commented: "The Faculty is a widely recognised centre of excellence for establishing and developing clinical academic career pathways for nurses and allied health professionals. We have worked in partnership with NHS South Central and NHS Trusts to build a highly successful infrastructure for supporting an expanding cadre of health care professionals in these posts.

"The NIHR mentorship scheme will further strengthen the quality and investment in the clinical academic workforce, making them an indispensable part of commissioning for quality health care."

Dr Jo Adams, Professional Lead for Occupational Therapy at the University of Southampton, commented: "It's fabulous for all of us to be able to contribute and support clinical researchers in developing robust patient centred NHS research.  The fact that so many of us have been recognised by NIHR as clinical leaders in our field is testimony to the great work that goes on within our Faculty.

"We hope that we are able to contribute and support high quality patient focused research in the NHS.  It's a great opportunity for researchers like us to share knowledge and have a positive impact on the lives of patients through supporting quality evidence-based care."

For more information about the mentorship for health research scheme, please visit the scheme website at

Notes for editors

About the NIHR

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government's strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website

The University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities.  

With over 23,000 students, around 5000 staff, and an annual turnover well in excess of £435 million, the University of Southampton is acknowledged as one of the country's top institutions for engineering, computer science and medicine. We combine academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to research, supporting a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of learning.

The University is also home to a number of world-leading research centres including the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the Web Science Trust and Doctoral training Centre, the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, the Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute and is a partner of the National Oceanography Centre at the Southampton waterfront campus.

For further information contact:

Becky Attwood , Media Relations, University of Southampton, Tel: 023 8059 5457, email:

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