Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research

Transformation in life course, ageing, methodologies, eHealth, technology and interventions in health, social care, lifestyle and wellbeing

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 work is grounded in the needs of the people of the South West and other rural, coastal, and deprived communities worldwide but PIHR’s research has national and international reach and impact. We deliver this by being, an interdisciplinary, inclusive enterprise with a real commitment to working across boundaries. PIHR builds and supports health and care research across all faculties of the University of Plymouth and its Science Park. It enables collaborative research across the university with our partners in health and social care systems, civil society, and industry, nationally and internationally. Our research and development integrates basic and applied science; it transcends barriers between professions and between health and social care. Our research is inextricably linked to our educative mission and each informs and enhances the other.

Research in PIHR is developed and conducted by a vibrant network of interconnected research groups and centres each with their own expertise and focus. The role of PIHR is to add value by enabling and accelerating research, supporting new and productive collaborations, and multiplying 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. PIHR is a supportive matrix with three interconnecting research clusters: PIHR Discovery, PIHR Translation, and PIHR Community. These are supported by crosscutting collaborative nodes: health technology, methodology including health measurement, and ‘blue health’ which links with the marine and maritime strengths of the university and the south west. 

PIHR research clusters

PIHR is a supportive matrix with three interconnecting research clusters: Discovery, Translation, and Community.


Immunology, infection, cancer, experimental psychology, and neuroscience


Facilitating rapid translation of scientific discoveries into interventions to improve wellbeing


Innovation and client-focused applied health and social care research

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.

Latest publications

  • Johnson A, Group TF, Delduca C & Morris R 2021 Living Your Life with Cancer: An ACT Approach Flying Over Thunderstorms. Routledge
  • Close J, Spicer SG, Nicklin LL, Uther M, Lloyd J & Lloyd H 2021 'Secondary analysis of loot box data: Are high-spending “whales” wealthy gamers or problem gamblers?' Addictive Behaviors 117, 106851-106851 , DOI
  • Lambert JD, Elliott LR, Taylor AH, Farrand P, Haase AM & Greaves CJ 2021 'A novel method for assessing design fidelity in web-based behavioral interventions' Health Psychology 40, (3) 217-225 , DOI
  • Yang X, Huang J, Harrision P, Roser ME, Tian K, Wang D & Liu G 2021 'Motivational differences in unipolar and bipolar depression, manic bipolar, acute and stable phase schizophrenia' Journal of Affective Disorders 283, 254-261 , DOI Open access
  • Oldman AH, Martin DS, Feelisch M, Grocott MPW & Cumpstey AF 2021 'Effects of perioperative oxygen concentration on oxidative stress in adult surgical patients: a systematic review' British Journal of Anaesthesia 126, (3) 622-632 , DOI
  • Petroff D, Blank V, Newsome PN, Shalimar, Voican CS, Thiele M, de Lédinghen V, Baumeler S, Chan WK & Perlemuter G 2021 'Assessment of hepatic steatosis by controlled attenuation parameter using the M and XL probes: an individual patient data meta-analysis' The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology 6, (3) 185-198 , DOI
  • Ritchie K, Kramer R, Mileva M, Sandford A & Burton AM 2021 'Multiple-image arrays in face matching tasks with and without memory' Cognition , DOI Open access
  • Tomlinson DR, Biscombe K, True J, Hosking J & Streeter AJ 2021 'Identification of deliberate catheter motion at the left atrial posterior wall during pulmonary vein isolation: Validity of respiratory motion adjustment' Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology , DOI
  • Zuchowski M, Mamode N, Draper H, Gogalniceanu P, Norton S, Chilcot J, Clarke A, Williams L, Auburn T & Maple H 2021 'Experiences of completed and withdrawn unspecified kidney donor candidates in the United Kingdom: An inductive thematic analysis from the BOUnD study' British Journal of Health Psychology , DOI
  • Baptie G, Andrade J, Bacon A & Norman A 2021 'Virtually renovating the Trauma Film Paradigm: Comparing virtual reality with on-screen presentation of an analogue trauma' Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace , DOI
  • Lane D, Tessari A, Ottoboni G & Marsden J 2021 'Body representation in people with apraxia post Stroke– an observational study' Brain Injury , DOI Open access
  • Ali K, McColl E, Tredwin C, Hanks S, Coelho C & Witton R 2021 'Addressing racial inequalities in dental education: decolonising the dental curricula' British Dental Journal 230, (3) 165-169 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Turner R, Webb OJ & Cotton DRE 2021 'Introducing immersive scheduling in a UK university: Potential implications for student attainment' Journal of Further and Higher Education 1-15 , DOI
  • Vahdaninia M 2021 'The unmet needs for modern family planning methods among postpartum women in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of the literature' BMC Reproductive Health 18, (1) 0-0 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Heintz S & Ruch W 2021 'Cross-sectional age differences in 24 character strengths: Five meta-analyses from early adolescence to late adulthood' The Journal of Positive Psychology 1-19 , DOI
  • Hoare J, Stein DJ, Heany SJ, Fouche J-P, Phillips N, Er S, Myer L, Zar HJ, Horvath S & Levine AJ 2021 'Accelerated epigenetic aging in adolescents living with HIV is associated with altered development of brain structures' Journal of NeuroVirology , DOI
  • Hazeldine E, Gowan G, Wigglesworth R, Pollard J, Asthana S & Husk K 2021 'Link worker perspectives of early implementation of social prescribing: a ‘Researcher-in-Residence’ study' Health and Social Care in the Community Publisher Site Open access
  • Maslin K, Shaw V, Brown A, Dean C & Shawe J 2021 'What is known about the nutritional intake of women with Hyperemesis Gravidarum?: A scoping review' European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology 257, 76-83 , DOI
  • Smallwood J, Turnbull A, Wang H-T, Ho NSP, Poerio GL, Karapanagiotidis T, Konu D, Mckeown B, Zhang M & Murphy C 2021 'The neural correlates of ongoing conscious thought' iScience 102132-102132 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Ferguson D, Harwood P, Allgar V, Roy A, Foster P, Taylor M, Moulder E & Sharma H 2021 'The PINS Trial: a prospective randomized clinical trial comparing a traditional versus an emollient skincare regimen for the care of pin-sites in patients with circular frames' The Bone & Joint Journal 103-B, (2) 279-285 , DOI

Cutting edge facilities

The Derriford Research Facility (DRF)

From brain tumours to vaccines, tissue regeneration to hepatitis, antibiotic resistance to innovative cancer drugs, research at the DRF focuses on the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, interventions and approaches to prevent, diagnose and treat devastating diseases, enhance patient outcomes and improve global healthcare.

This landmark investment by the University in to its biomedical and clinical research infrastructure, provides state-of-the-art laboratories and a rich, collaborative, interdisciplinary environment for University researchers, clinical colleagues and our partners.

Find out more about the facility

Brain Research & Imaging Centre

The Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC), the most advanced multi-modal brain imaging facility in the South West, will provide the sea-change to enhance the quality of our research in human neuroscience.

With seven cutting-edge human research laboratories, BRIC will include an MRI suite with the most advanced 3-Tesla scanner in the region. It will critically advance our enquiry toward the most advanced brain research, improved radiological diagnostics and better patient care.

Find out more about the facility