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

  • 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
  • Odor PM, Bampoe S, Lucas DN, Andrade J, Moonesinghe SR & Pandit JJ 2021 'Incidence of accidental awareness during general anaesthesia in obstetrics: a multi-centre, prospective cohort study' Anaesthesia Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Talbot J, Stuckey R, Crawford L, Weatherby S & Mullin S 2021 'Improvements in pain, medication use and quality of life in onabotulinumtoxinA-resistant chronic migraine patients following erenumab treatment – real world outcomes' The Journal of Headache and Pain 22, (1) , DOI
  • Sofela AA, Hilton DA, Ammoun S, Baiz D, Adams CL, Ercolano E, Jenkinson MD, Kurian KM, Teo M & Whitfield PC 2021 'Fibulin-2: A Novel Biomarker for Differentiating Grade II from Grade I Meningiomas' International Journal of Molecular Sciences 22, (2) 560-560 , DOI
  • Wright N, Allgar V, Hankins F & Hearty P 2021 'Long-term Condition Management for Prisoners: exploring prevalence and compliance with national monitoring processes' Qeios , DOI
  • Paton J, Abey S, Hendy P, Williams J, Collings R & Callaghan L 2021 'Behaviour change approaches for individuals with diabetes to improve foot self-management: a scoping review' Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 14, (1) , DOI
  • Gunn H, Stevens KN, Creanor S, Andrade J, Paul L, Miller L, Green C, Ewings P, Barton A & Berrow M 2021 'Balance Right in Multiple Sclerosis (BRiMS): a feasibility randomised controlled trial of a falls prevention programme' Pilot and Feasibility Studies 7, (1) , DOI
  • Witton R, McColl E & Tredwin C 2021 'Students' return to clinic' British Dental Journal 230, (1) 3-3 , DOI
  • Jones S, Chudleigh M, Baines R & Jones RB 2021 'Did introducing Twitter and digital professionalism as an assessed element of the nursing curriculum impact social media related incidence of ‘Fitness to Practise’: 12-year case review' Nurse Education in Practice 50, 102950-102950 , DOI
  • Eke CS, Jammeh E, Li X, Carroll C, Pearson S & Ifeachor E 2021 'Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease with Blood Plasma Proteins Using Support Vector Machines' IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics 25, (1) 218-226 , DOI
  • Huo L, Bai L & Zhou S-M 2021 'Automatically Generating Natural Language Descriptions of Images by a Deep Hierarchical Framework' IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics 1-12 , DOI
  • Moodley P & Dhanda AD 2021 'can quantitative fibrosis assessment be used to enhance prediction of outcomes in patients with alcohol-related liver disease?' ALIMENTARY PHARMACOLOGY & THERAPEUTICS 53, (1) 183-184 Author Site , DOI
  • Lund H, Juhl CB, Nørgaard B, Draborg E, Henriksen M, Andreasen J, Christensen R, Nasser M, Ciliska D & Clarke M 2021 'Evidence-Based Research Series-Paper 2 : Using an Evidence-Based Research approach before a new study is conducted to ensure value' Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 129, 158-166 , DOI
  • Lund H, Juhl CB, Nørgaard B, Draborg E, Henriksen M, Andreasen J, Christensen R, Nasser M, Ciliska D & Tugwell P 2021 'Evidence-Based Research Series-Paper 3: Using an Evidence-Based Research approach to place your results into context after the study is performed to ensure usefulness of the conclusion' Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 129, 167-171 , DOI
  • Hutchinson PJ, Edlmann E, Bulters D, Zolnourian A, Holton P, Suttner N, Agyemang K, Thomson S, Anderson IA & Al-Tamimi YZ 2020 'Trial of Dexamethasone for Chronic Subdural Hematoma' New England Journal of Medicine 383, (27) 2616-2627 , DOI
  • McKenzie R, Dallos R, Stedmon J, Hancocks H, Vickery PJ, Barton A, Vassallo T, Myhill C, Chynoweth J & Ewings P 2020 'SAFE, a new therapeutic intervention for families of children with autism: a randomised controlled feasibility trial' BMJ Open 10, (12) e038411-e038411 Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Elliott LR, White MP, Fleming LE, Abraham C & Taylor AH 2020 'Redesigning walking brochures using behaviour change theory: implications for walking intentions in natural environments' Health Promotion International , DOI
  • French RS, Shawe J, Tilouche N, Earle S & Grenfell P 2020 '(Not) talking about fertility: the role of digital technologies and health services in helping plan pregnancy. A qualitative study' BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health , DOI
  • Rafipay A, Dun X, Parkinson DB, Erskine L & Vargesson N 2020 'Knockdown of Slit signalling during limb development leads to a reduction in humerus length' Developmental Dynamics , DOI
  • Williams EL, Stimpson ML, Lait PJP, Schewitz-Bowers LP, Jones LV, Dhanda AD, Lee RWJ & Bradbury CA 2020 'Glucocorticoid treatment in patients with newly diagnosed immune thrombocytopenia switches CD14 ++ CD16 + intermediate monocytes from a pro‐inflammatory to an anti‐inflammatory phenotype' British Journal of Haematology 192, (2) 375-384 , 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