NIHR Research Design Service South West    

Residential Research Retreat
26th to 28th November 2019. Dillington House - Somerset. Now closed to applications.

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  Dillington House  

Meet the team


Details of all staff attending the Retreat have yet to be finalised but those who have confirmed are:

  Gordon Taylor  

Gordon Taylor BSc(hons) MSc PhD
Director, RDS SW

Gordon obtained his first degree in Mathematical sciences from the University of Portsmouth, followed by an MSc in Statistics (with applications in Medicine) from the University of Southampton and a PhD in applied Mathematics from the University of Ulster. He then did a 2 year post-doc at the MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge working on transplantation related research before moving to the South West to work for the Bath Research and Development Support Unit (the forerunner of the current RDS structure) and then subsequently for the RDS SW. Gordon moved to Exeter in April 2018 to take up the role of Professor of Medical Statistics and in October 2018 took over the role of director of the RDS SW.

Gordon provides methodological (especially statistical) support across a wide range of research areas, with grants and publications reflecting this diversity of interests. He is vice-chair of one of the NIHR Doctoral Research Fellowship (DRF) panels and has previously been a member of an RfPB committee as well as chair of an NHS research ethics committee. Gordon is one of the expert team at the Retreat.

  Julie Hapeshi  

Julie Hapeshi  DHS, BSc, PGCert Cert Health Econ, Dip Research Methods, RN, RM, ONC
Deputy Director and PPI lead, RDS SW

Julie has a clinical background in nursing and midwifery but is no longer a practising clinician. She has worked NHS R&D management and trial delivery in a variety of roles in over the last 25 years and has been part of the RDS SW team since it started in 2008. Julie has been part of the team at many of the past research retreats. Julie’s interest is in patient and public involvement. Julie is one of the expert team at the Retreat.

  Andy Barton  

Andy Barton BSc MSc
Adviser, RDS SW

Andy has an academic background in psychology but has been working in health services research for over 30 years. He has held lectureships at the Welsh National School of Medicine (Health Care Evaluation) and Newcastle Medical School (Clinical Audit). Andy is part of University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Health: Medicine, Dentistry and Human Sciences, and runs the Plymouth office of the Research Design Service. His research interests include housing and health, women’s reproductive health, and pre-hospital emergency care where he has held a number of DH grants. He is a regular reviewer for a number of scientific journals and is on the referees’ panel for various funding bodies. Andy is one of the expert team at the Retreat.

  Paul Ewings  

Paul Ewings BSc MSc PhD CStat CSci
Adviser, RDS SW

Paul obtained his first degree in Mathematics from the University of London, followed by an MSc and PhD in Statistics at Southampton University. Since 1984 he has worked in the NHS in Somerset, initially as a statistician supporting the Public Health function, then instigating the Somerset Research and Development Support Unit. He later also became Director of the Peninsula RDSU and in October 2008 Director of the new Research Design Service for the South West. He is an honorary Professor at the University of Exeter Medical School. Paul provides methodological (especially statistical) support across a wide range of research areas, with grants and publications reflecting this diversity of interests. He is a member of the HTA Committee and continues to review for a number of funding bodies. Paul is one of the expert team at the Retreat.

  Debbie Marsh  

Debbie Marsh, BA PgDip
Business Manager, RDS SW

Debbie joined the NHS in 1991, a few years after graduating from the University of Exeter. She was appointed as Manager of the Clinical Trials Unit at Musgrove Park Hospital in 2001, this role later extended to include research management and governance for secondary care projects within the Trust. Debbie was RM&G and Research Services Manager for the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust for two and a half years before being appointed as Business Manager to the Research Design Service South West in February 2009. From 1st March Debbie works part-time as Business Manager for the RDS SW and part-time as Programme Manager for the RDS National Office.

  Sue Anderson  

Sue Anderson
Peninsula Coordinator, RDS SW

Sue works as the RDS (Peninsula) Coordinator. Previously she worked at the Peninsula RDSU for 11 years in a secretarial role. Sue supports the smooth running of the South West Research Design Service, particularly within the Peninsula arm. She organises teams of funding applicants around the Peninsula to ensure they have timely meetings and submit robust grant applications to the NIHR and other funding streams. She provides administrative and secretarial support to the RDS Consultants around the Peninsula. Sue also facilitates the development of public involvement within the Peninsula area. Sue leads on the organisation of the Residential Research Retreat and will also provide administrative support during the Retreat.

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