We boast an experienced and dedicated research team working on a wide range of research studies, engaging with services and colleagues across the Trust. The team comprises research delivery and support teams as well as academic groups with research associates based in the R&I Department; and close partnerships with Keele, Worcester and Staffordshire Universities and other local acute and community Trusts.

Dr Abid Khan, Medical Director

Abid KhanDr Abid Khan is the Medical Director of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  He is responsible for the professional leadership of all doctors employed within the Trust.  He is the designated Responsible Officer for the purpose of revalidation by the General Medical Council (GMC) for doctors and is the Trust Caldicott Guardian for information governance purposes. 

In addition to training medical students, junior doctors and PA students Abid is committed to training non-medical prescribers and the development of enhanced skills in other professionals.

Abid oversees the Research and Innovation Department and the Pharmacy services in this context and is Lead for the Medicines Optimisation Committee (MOC) that oversees prescribing practices and prescribing issues for our Trust in collaboration with community pharmacists.

In his clinical role he is works as a consultant psychiatrist in the Psychiatric Intensive Care unit in Stafford


Professor Christian Mallen, Head, Keele School of Medicine

Christian MallenProfessor Mallen is currently the NIHR Research Professor in General Practice and the interim Director of the Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences. He leads Keele's Global Health Research and is also the Director of the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme for Primary Care. 

Professor Mallen trained in clinical medicine in Nottingham and North Staffordshire, completing vocational training in general practice in 2003. He worked clinically as a GP for NHS North Staffordshire.

Christian's academic training was supported by Arthritis Research UK Doctoral Training, Career Progression, and Clinician Scientist Fellowships. This allowed him to develop expertise in the early diagnosis and management of common musculoskeletal disorders in primary care.

Professor Mallen is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics. Christian has been awarded both the Yvonne Carter and John Fry Awards for primary care research. He has published more than 250 peer-review papers in leading general medical, primary care and speciality journals

For more information on Professor Christian Mallen, please visit https://www.keele.ac.uk/globalhealth/meettheteam/christianmallen/


Ruth Lambley-Burke, Director of Research and Innovation, and Associate Director Of Medical Directorate Operations 

Ruth Lambley-Burke

Ruth Lambley-Burke is the Director of Research and Innovation for MPFT, where she provides leadership and is responsible for developing the Trust’s vision for research and implementing the Trust strategy. Drawing upon her 20 years’ experience and expertise in Research, Ruth ensures that research thrives across the NHS, academic and industry sectors, and is active in developing partnerships and collaborations to enable easier, faster research delivered and disseminated across the NHS and health and social care systems. 

Since joining the Trust in 2014, Ruth has developed an expanding research and innovation team working with world class academics, high quality leaders and teams. Ruth has not only successfully embedded a research culture within MPFT but also seen a fourfold increase in research income, introducing mental health commercial trials to the organisation and developing four academic hubs to promote, deliver and encourage home grown research. As a result the research team has grown from a relatively small core function to a large award winning multidisciplinary team.

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruth led the overhaul of a mothballed ward into a now fully functioning clinical research facility in 8 weeks. Most notably, this is the first facility in the West Midlands that delivered a commercially funded COVID-19 vaccine trial and has continued to be the North hub for commercial vaccine trials working with partners to deliver COVID-19 research/vaccines. 

Ruth’s system leadership includes working with strategic leads across newly formed integrated care systems, higher education institutes and local authorities, most recently to establish two strategic groups to embed research in the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin integrated care systems. Ruth has also led pioneering innovative projects that embed and engage research in social care, and led the development of an expert-led in house training programme to enhance research skills that is available to all MPFT staff, local authority and primary care partners.

As the Associate Director Of Medical Directorate Operations within MPFT, Ruth also provides direct senior management support to the Medical Director, building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders. She holds portfolio responsibility for research, medical education, and library and knowledge services.

Ruth started her research leadership career in 2000 as a Commercial Trials Manager and went on to hold management roles across the NHS and within the NIHR CRN WM as well as a workforce leadership role with the CRN CC prior to joining MPFT as Head of Research and Innovation. 

Delivery Team

The delivery team, led by Research Delivery Manager Liz Glaves, work specifically on research studies that are approved by the National Institute of Health Research. These are often national or international studies, and can range from clinical drug trials to questionnaire based studies that span a broad range of physical and mental health care specialities.

The delivery team work closely with Trust clinicians, teams and services to manage, support and oversee the following study activities:

  • set up of individual studies with the relevant clinical teams
  • development of recruitment strategies and assistance with the actual recruitment of service users, patients and staff onto each study as required
  • ensuring all study related procedures, such as questionnaires, health assessments and medications are administered safely
  • maintenance of accurate study records
  • liaison with study sponsor organisations to ensure each study is delivered safely and in accordance with the study protocol

Click here for more information on delivery of research at MPFT.


The Research Delivery Team is managed by Liz Glaves

Liz GlavesMy background is in general nursing, working within palliative care, oncology and dementia care over several years in a variety of settings that included hospices, hospitals and the community.

I worked as a Research Nurse within oncology and a Clinical Studies Officer within mental health and dementia, before moving into a research management role. I currently work as the Research Delivery Manager for MPFT, working with our delivery teams in North Staffs, South Staffs and Shropshire.


Study Support Services Team

The Research Support Services Team, led by Led by Frances Davies, Research Governance Manager, is the one-stop shop for undertaking research at MPFT. From setting up studies within the Trust and liaising with the delivery team, to helping and advising on sponsorship and research ethics, the Team can provide as much (or as little) advice and support as required.

We have a wealth of knowledge within the Team and support all kinds of projects from students undertaking their first qualitative study, to large programme grants requiring financial and contractual support. We can also help with the most up to date guidance on data protection and transfers for research; trust policies and contacts; project amendments; portfolio adoption; and more!

We are also home to a team of research assistants and senior researchers working on specific programmes within the Trust. These projects involve services and staff across the length and breadth of the Trust’s geography and includes a growing portfolio of partnerships.

Click here for more information on MPFT’s study support services.


The Study Support Services Team is managed by Frances Davies

Fran DaviesI have worked in research for the majority of my career starting at the British Museum, coming to the Trust via the British Library, UCL, University of Manchester and the Christie Hospital.

As the Research Governance Manager for the Trust, I oversee the governance and support services side of the R&I department. My role encompasses, along with my team, overseeing all research permissions and ethics, PPIE, and supporting grants administration and academic management; I work closely with the NIHR CRN, Keele University and other local partners with the aim to increase the amount of research that the Trust undertakes and to help develop and support home-grown research activity.

I am also working with Ruth Lambley-Burke to create a research sponsorship pathway for the Trust to sponsor its own research projects and grants; and to create an innovation pathway – both exciting developments for the future.


Evaluation Team

The evaluation team is led by David Dobel-Ober, Evaluation Lead. The team provides advice and support for all aspects of evaluation projects within MPFT (e.g. governance, project planning, methods, data collection and analysis, dissemination). In most instances, we aim to support, train and advise staff but in some cases, where a level of independence and/or expertise is required, we can undertake specific parts or manage evaluation projects in their entirety. 

We maintain an evaluation register for the Trust. Registration is voluntary for MPFT staff and mandatory for outside institutions and individuals.

We are always keen to hear about potential projects at the earlies opportunity so we can provide guidance when it is most needed an we can plan direct support if required.

Click here for more information on Evaluation services.


The Evaluation Team is led by David Dobel-Ober

David Dobel-OberI support and promote evaluation and research activities within the Trust. This includes providing advice and assistance to colleagues at all stages of their projects, from design to dissemination. My role also involves developing evaluation capacity in the organisation by helping colleagues develop and apply their own research skills.

I am regularly involved in a wide range of projects spanning various clinical areas (e.g. Wellbeing & Recovery College, community remodelling, non-medical prescribing, paediatric community OT, Arts for Health) and I am particularly interested in finding ways to involve service users in research activities in a meaningful way (e.g. co-production).

Before joining the Trust, my work focussed on research and evaluation of projects related to the education and health provisions for looked after children. Overall, I promote a pragmatic and flexible approach to research and evaluation.