£2m confirmed to set up the first NIHR Complex Reviews Support Unit

Posted by pt91 at Sep 09, 2015 12:42 PM |
New Unit formed in collaboration with University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 9 September 2015

A consortium of researchers from around the UK, including the University of Leicester, has been awarded £2million to provide support in areas of research that require complex methodological approaches to evidence-based medicine.

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) funded the University of Leicester in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to establish the NIHR Complex Reviews Support Unit (CRSU), which will support the successful delivery of complex reviews of importance to the NHS.

The questions and decisions involved in medical research are becoming increasingly complex and demand more sophisticated evaluations.  This often requires novel methodological approaches in synthesising different types of data, in evaluating multidisciplinary and complex interventions, and in synthesising appropriate data for further analysis, such as economic evaluations.  However, the lack of methodological expertise and researcher capacity in this area is a recognised major barrier to completing such complex reviews.

The CRSU will focus on providing timely and appropriate support for the successful delivery of complex reviews that are funded and/or supported by NIHR.  These include reviews funded by the Systematic Review Programme and other NIHR programmes, Cochrane Collaboration, and other NHS and NHS supported sources.  The Unit will also work closely with the NIHR to support scoping and prioritising of future complex reviews, and build capacity and capability within the research community.

Nicola Cooper, Professor of Health Care Evaluation Research at the University of Leicester and Deputy Director of the CRSU, said: “This is an exciting new opportunity to collaborate with the NIHR and builds on the University of Leicester’s Biostatistics Unit’s long-standing contribution to the development of methods for realistically complex evaluations and syntheses of existing evidence.”

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Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Professor Nicola Cooper, e-mail njc21@le.ac.uk

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