Meet our team

Meet our team

RDS EoE Staff

With centres at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Universities of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and East Anglia; the RDS EoE, along with its partners, offers a comprehensive and eclectic service focused on supporting funding applications from NHS and Social Care researchers and those working in partnership with the NHS.

An image of a small selection of the RDS East of England Team

EssexBedfordshireCambridgeshireHertfordshireNorfolk and Suffolk

Tanya Devine

Tanya works part-time, sharing the role of Central Co-ordinator. Prior to joining the Research Design Service, East of England, Tanya worked within Further and Higher Education for over twenty years. She has a degree in Early Childhood Studies and a Post Grad Cert in Education.  Tanya taught Health & Social Care and Early Years to a cross-section of students. She has a background of supporting clinical research within an NHS hospital healthcare library and working at a London Borough local authority in the school admissions team.

Jemma Holliday

Jemma is the Central Co-ordinator for the East of England, working part-time based at the University of Essex. She joined the RDS in July 2015, originally as an Administrative Assistant, following administrative roles requiring website development and database management expertise.

Dr Susan Smith

Dr Susan Smith has a Health Sciences background, with experience in both clinical and academic settings. She has a PhD from the University of Manchester in “The cellular and molecular regulation of vitamin D metabolism in myeloid cell lines and macrophages”, which was followed by post-doctoral research as part of a Vitamin D Research Group. She has several years’ experience of research in the National Health Service, both as a Research & Development Manager at an acute hospital Trust and as a Clinical Trial Co-ordinator for the NIHR funded ‘iQuit in Practice’ smoking cessation study, based at the University of Cambridge. More recently Susan worked as part of the Research & Enterprise Office team at University Campus Suffolk (now the University of Suffolk). She joined the NIHR Research Design Service as a part-time Research Adviser in April 2014. She is also currently a member of the East of England Essex Research Ethics Committee and Crohn’s and Colitis UK’s ‘Living with IBD’ Research Awards Panel.

Andrew Sharpe

Andrew is the site Manager and Public Involvement Lead for the Cambridge office. This role involves a variety of tasks including; organising and facilitating meetings and events to enable researchers to engage with patients and members of the public; provide links to charities and local lay groups; and to provide guidance through the whole application process. Andrew’s role also includes the provision of administrative support to the Cambridge office.

Andrew has a MA in Sociological Research from the University of Sheffield; focussing on qualitative methods. He has a keen interest in public health; specifically with the promotion of increasing involvement in physical activity.

Dr Simon Bond

Simon completed a degree in mathematics and masters in statistics at Oxford University, followed by a PhD in statistics at Warwick University. Having gained experience in applied and methodological research at MRC Biostatistics Unit, and Mundipharma Research, Simon now leads the statistical team within Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit (CCTU). The services provided include: study design, including novel and adaptive methods, including co-application to grant applications; input into protocol development and data management; randomisation; reporting during the study to oversight committees; final analysis; input into journals. Outside of study-specific tasks Simon sits on the NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation board, leads the Early-Phase Study group within the NIHR statistics group, and lectures to the Experimental Medicine and Immunotherapeutics MSc course. Simon previously served on an Ethics committee, and the NICE HTA evaluation board.

Dr. Darren Dunning

Darren completed both a BSC in Applied Psychology and an MSc in Developmental Psychopathology at Durham University, followed by a PhD titled “Does Working Memory Training Improve the Classroom Performance of Children with Poor Working Memory? A Randomised Controlled Trial” at the University of York. His post-doctoral work included a lectureship in Cognition at the Open University and a postdoc role at the University of East Anglia investigating if cognitive training improves the working memory of children that have survived an acquired brain injury. More recently, Darren was an investigator scientist at the University of Cambridge exploring if mindfulness improves the mental health, behaviour and cognitive skills of adolescents. His research expertise covers cognition, development, emotion and mental health, crosscutting intervention work (does it work?) and basic science (how does it work?). Darren joined the RDS in 2022, working across the Cambridge and Hertfordshire sites.

Dr Jonathan Scales

Jon completed a degree in Psychology and Anthropology at Keele University, as a mature student, after service in the RAF. Subsequently he gained a MA in Social Research Methods and a PhD in Applied Social and Economic Research from the University of Essex. His post-doctoral work experience includes research posts in the NHS, the Institute for Social and Economic Research, the Future Foundation and the Faculty of Education at Cambridge University. Prior to his current post as Research Adviser with the NIHR Research Design Service he ran his own social and market research consultancy.  He is a certified member of the Market Research Society.

Dr David Wellsted

David is the Associate Director and Research Adviser at our Hertfordshire office. David also holds the lead role at the Centre for Lifespan and Chronic Illness (CLiCIR) at the University of Hertfordshire. His PhD at Leeds examined the role of attention in guiding listening. David also completed a post doctoral post at the University of York working on a BBSRC funded project designed to determine the role of sound localisation in the formation of auditory objects. His main current role is to facilitate the development of fundable research activity within the NHS in Hertfordshire, with the support of our colleagues in the NHS and those based at the University of Hertfordshire.

Margaret Kyle

Margaret has been employed by the University of Hertfordshire since August 2021 and provides administrative support to the RDS and Central PHIRST. Previously Margaret has worked as a school administrator and as an Assessment Co-ordinator at CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education) and has a BA (Hons) History.

Amanda Busby

Amanda is a part-time adviser for the RDS as well as a Senior Research Assistant at the University of Hertfordshire.  She has a BSc in Mathematics from the Open University and an MSc in Medical Statistics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  Amanda joined the university in 2017 whilst studying for her Master’s and joined the RDS at the start of 2020, providing statistical support in funding applications.

Dr. Emily Beadle

Emily is a part-time advisor for the RDS as well as research fellow and visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire. She has a background in psychology and research methods in psychology and completed her PhD in 2020 in body compassion and physical activity behaviour. She has experience of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method projects as well as systematic reviews in a range of topics.

Dr Keith Sullivan

Keith is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire and a Senior Research Adviser for the NIHR East of England Research Design Service. Keith is a former Professor of Epidemiology. He is a nutritional epidemiologist and bio-statistician with expertise in quantitative research methodology and has worked in the arena of nutritional epidemiology and been a senior university staff member nationally and internationally for many years. He is keenly interested in understanding from a quantitative scientist view point the ever growing worldwide obesity epidemic.

Lisa Rowe

Lisa is currently employed part time at the University of East Anglia and provides administrative support to the RDS team in the Norfolk and Suffolk region. Lisa started working with the RDS in October 2009.

Previously Lisa worked in various administrative roles at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, the University of East Anglia and Optimum Patient Care (an organisation providing audit & review services for GP Practices/PCT’s).

Dr Allan Clark

Allan is a senior lecturer and medical statistics and joined the RDS in 2015. Allan’s main area of expertise is in the application and development of statistical methods in clinical trials. He is a co-applicant of various pragmatic randomised controlled trials in different clinical areas. Outside the RDS, Allan is a Senior statistician for the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit

Sarah Pyne

In addition to working as a Research Advisor for the RDS, Sarah is a Senior Research Associate in the Health Economics Group at the University of East Anglia (UEA). She completed her MSc in Health Economics (distinction) at UEA in 2017 and undertakes economic evaluations for randomised controlled trials in a variety of clinical areas.

Before joining UEA and the RDS EoE in October 2019, Sarah worked for consultancies specialising in policy and economics and healthcare communications. She has also worked as a freelance Medical Writer for more than 10 years.

Prof. Lee Shepstone

Lee is a Professor of Medical Statistics at the University of East Anglia. His main area of expertise is in the application and development of statistical methods in clinical trials. He is a co-applicant of various pragmatic randomised controlled trials in different clinical areas and is Associate Director for Norwich Clinical Trials Unit.

Susan Stirling

Sue has a part-time role with the RDS as a statistician. She also works as a statistician with the Norwich Clinical Trials UNIT (Norwich CTU). She completed an MSc in Medical Statistics at Leicester University in 1988. She has previously worked for the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (1946 birth cohort), and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, before joining the University of East Anglia in 2012.

Sue joined the RDS EoE in January 2013, and since then has advised on a variety of grant proposals, in conjunction with other RDS advisers.