Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR)

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From basic research discovering the causes of disease, through to evaluating novel ways of delivering care to the most vulnerable people in society, the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR) is a thriving community that conducts adventurous world-leading research with the explicit purpose of improving the health and care of the populations we serve. At the heart of PIHR’s mission is a desire to solve the problems that really matter to people.

Our Institute provides a vibrant academic community. Our researchers come from a range of disciplines, specialisms and clinical backgrounds. We provide a supportive environment for our researchers and encourage collaboration across disciplinary and sectoral boundaries. 

The Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR) brings together academics from a wide range of disciplines (Biomedical Sciences, Dentistry, Health Professions, Health Services Research, Medicine, Nursing, Primary Care, Psychology, Public health and Social Care) in the Faculty of Health, researchers in the University’s Faculties of Science and Engineering and Arts, Humanities and Business, and our partners in the public, private and third sectors, nationally and internationally. Our mission is to promote an interdisciplinary, inclusive enterprise with a real commitment to working across boundaries in order to meet the needs of the people of the South West and other rural, coastal, and deprived communities worldwide.

PIHR's role is to enable and accelerate research, support new and productive collaborations, and multiply the quality and the impact of our work and impact. It does so by means of a responsive and dynamic system that avoids the limitations of siloed and divisive organisational structures and by providing a range of resources for researchers. PIHR's research is developed and conducted through four interconnecting research themes, representing our key areas of interest and expertise: Brain and Mind; Digital Health; Health across the Lifecourse; and New Frontiers in Discovery Research. These themes traverse our 36 research groups and centres. In addition, we develop cross-cutting inter-disciplinary research strands, such as Arts-Health collaborative research and Health Services research. 

Our research covers the spectrum from discovery research (e.g. around the causes of disease), to translation into novel interventions, and to evaluating ways of delivering care. Other key features include the extent to which we excel in methodological innovation, our commitments to working in partnership and knowledge mobilisation and the fact that our research is inextricably linked to our educative mission and each informs and enhances the other.

Research Festival 2022 call for submissions open now

Now in its 5th year, the annual Research Festival returns to build on its previous success that welcomed over 1000 participants from academia, policy, industry and the public to explore the research undertaken right across the University, and set foundations for important collaborations.

In celebration of these collaborations across specialisms and disciplines – and a growing appreciation to do so – the theme of the 2022 Research Festival is: A systems-thinking approach to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Deadline: Thursday 9 December 2021

More information and to submit your application

Centre for Coastal Communities

It is increasingly recognised that new and worrying patterns of deprivation have materialised in peripheral coastal areas across the UK, but with the exception of seaside resorts, there has been limited investigation of the problems experienced in widely varying coastal settlements. PIHR, alongside our partners in the Marine Institute and Sustainable Earth Institute is consequently playing a leading role in a new cross-faculty, cross-disciplinary Centre for Coastal Communities, building upon the University’s existing strengths in coastal research.

The Centre will examine the economic, environmental, socio-cultural and health issues faced by coastal communities. Key health topics will include: health and social care: health inequalities; mental health and wellbeing; vulnerable children & young people; access to dental care; and implications of funding formulae. Click here for more information

Lived Experience of Covid 

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all of our lives. Both the spread of the virus and the measures taken to halt or manage it, have necessitated major changes in how we do things. Academics at the University of Plymouth have undertaken a range of research projects on the impact of Covid and how we have adapted to it in a wide range of areas. This includes how health, social care and education providers have coped as well as how the wider community has been affected. Find out more about these projects here

Postgraduate research opportunities

The University of Plymouth offers a range of postgraduate research degrees across all areas of health research.

The Doctoral College is the hub for all research degree processes – from enquiries and application processes to the award of degrees.

Find out more about the areas in which we supervise postgraduate research at both doctoral and masters levels. Here we offer a flavour of potential topics for your own research project and who to contact to discuss your options.