Kent strengthens relationship with national health research body

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The University of Kent has strengthened its relationship with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) following the appointment of Dr David Wilkinson as the new Director of NIHR’s Research Design Service (RDS) South East.
Dr Wilkinson, of the University’s School of Psychology, will lead the RDS (SE) in its role in preparing research proposals for submission to peer-reviewed funding programmes in applied health and social care.
Dr Wilkinson is also an Academic Research Fellow at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. His main research interest is in understanding the psychological and biological bases of human cognition with a view to developing more effective therapies for individuals with brain injury. His research uses a variety of experimental approaches including normative behavioural testing, cognitive neuropsychology, brain stimulation, and functional neuro-imaging. 
In another move, Kent’s Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) and its Tizard Centre have been successful in securing membership of the NIHR School for Social Care Research (SSCR) for a further five years, beginning in May 2014.
The SSCR was established in May 2009 to conduct world-class research to improve adult social care practices in England. Since its establishment it has commissioned over 56 research studies involving more than 192 Fellows and engaged with a vast number of organisations in the social care sector.
The renewed funding, which takes effect from May 2014, will allow the consortium, involving academics from Kent and the London School of Economics and Political Science working with those from the universities of  Bristol, Kent, Manchester and York, to develop a new business plan and research programme.
Professor Peter Jeffries, Director of KentHealth, the University’s portal for health-related research and consultancy, said: ‘Both these developments signal Kent’s growing impact in health-related research.
‘We are working in partnership with health service sector bodies like NIHR as well as other universities and organisations to build a strong research and consultancy base.’
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