Welcome to the Public health Research Innovation anD Engagement (PRIDE) Project.


What is the PRIDE Project?

The PRIDE project is an NIHR Clinical Research Network West Midlands (CRN WM) funded project that officially started in April 2022 and will operate for a period of 18 months. PRIDE aims to support the development of locally based research engagement, involvement, and activity within public health teams who practice across a number of local authorities, primarily within the Staffordshire and Shropshire regions. This initiative is important because it is accepted that a persons’ health is more than their interaction with medicine and healthcare and involves a much wider set of influences and determinants, many of which are at a population and public health level. Additionally, because each local authority area is different, each local authority area public health team will face different challenges, a good example being the differences faced within a rural environment compared to an inner-city urban environment. The UK Government and the NHS recognise the need to understand and research more about locally-based driven factors that impact on population health to provide effective locally-based solutions that prevent poor health and promote good health across the population.

What will the PRIDE project do?

The PRIDE project has a number of objectives to engage our involved public health teams with research activity, research training, and research output. These include:

  • bringing public health practitioners and public health academics together to discuss research and plan out research strategies that fit with current priorities for each team
  • provide access to high quality research training and learning via MPFT's STARS programme to public health practitioners
  • provide dedicated academic and practical support to a nominated “Research Champion” from each public health team and support them to lead on their public health teams' research activity
  • provide support and guidance for research proposal development suitable for future grant funding
  • identify suitable research career development opportunities (e.g. fellowships) for public health practitioners who are interested in a research career pathway
  • create and deliver inspirational networking events to stimulate interest in public health research across the region


Our people

We have a core team from MPFT who run the project but also a growing list of public health and related research academics, local authority partners, as well as a range of research based contacts and stakeholders. PRIDE has an open-door policy and we wish to grow our partnerships and networks further, so do contact us if you wish to know more about PRIDE and get involved.


PRIDE Project Team (MPFT)

  • Project and Academic lead: Dr Paul Campbell (Senior Researcher, R&I Dept MPFT and Honorary Reader, School of Medicine, Keele University)
  • Project Senior Research Assistant: Dr Gulshan Tajuria (Senior Research Assistant, R&I Dept MPFT)
  • Project Manager: Jay Tavernor (Project Support, R&I Dept, MPFT)
  • Project Oversight: Ruth Lambley-Burke (Director of R&I Dept, Associate Director of Medical Directorate Operations, MPFT)


The PRIDE Team in action

Picture of the PRIDE TeamThe PRIDE team at the Association Directors Public Health West Midlands Conference (18 Jan 2023) at the Molineux Stadium, where they delivered a Research Workshop. Pictured left to right: Jay Tavernor, Gulshan Tajuria, Paul Campbell, Ross Wilkie.


PRIDE Academics

  • Professor Ross Wilkie (Senior Lecturer In Public Health and Epidemiology, Director of Public Health programme, Deputy Director of Keele Institute for Social Inclusion, School of Medicine, Keele University)
  • Professor Christian Mallen (Head of Medical School, Keele University, Head NIHR School for Primary Care Research)
  • Professor Toby Helliwell (Professor of General Practice and Primary Care lead in Global Health, Honorary Professor of General Practice MPFT)


PRIDE Public Health Partners

  • Public Health, Shropshire Council
  • Research Champion – Kathy Rodenhurst
  • Public Health and Prevention Health, Staffordshire County Council
  • Public Health, Telford and Wrekin Council
  • Public Health, Sandwell Council


PRIDE Stakeholders and Network


PRIDE Project Activity

Events and involvement

June 2022: held inaugural launching event to invited stakeholders and the event was, attended by public health leads from Shropshire and Staffordshire as well as a range of academics and practitioners throughout the West Midlands region.

December 2022: held a large joint MPFT PRIDE and CRN WM event 'Let's Talk About Public Health Research in the West Midlands'. This event was well attended by practitioners and academics throughout the West Midlands region (e.g. Staffordshire, Shropshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Sandwell, Wolverhampton). The event provided attendees with an overview of PRIDE and NIHR research initiatives and included an “Open Forum” to discuss current public health priorities, research ideas, practitioner involvement and engagement with research, and availability of research training and research skills development.

January 2023: PRIDE was invited and delivered a research workshop “Secrets of the right research question” at the Association Directors of Public Health West Midlands Conference at the Molineux in Wolverhampton. With over 40 people attending the workshop, the team were thrilled to see fantastic engagement and interest in research, and to learn that many of the delegates are already actively involved!


Creating connections

  • Established an academic and research support network (CRNWM, ADPH, RDS, PHRESH) and provided links for our involved public health teams.
  • Created a communications pathway to inform engaged LA teams of funding opportunities of events, funding opportunities and career progression.
  • Created the ‘The Round Up’ document to share public health research opportunities within the West Midlands region. You can request a copy of the ‘The Round Up’ by email prideproject@mpft.nhs.uk
  • Activity linking local authority public health practitioners and teams with academic and research support partners to develop research ideas.
  • Provided access to high quality research training/learning opportunities via the MPFT STARS programme and MPFT Public Health Pillars sessions (Via Professor Zafar Iqbal).
  • Identified our first Research Champion: Kathy Rodenhurst, Public Health Research Practitioner at Shropshire Council.


PRIDE Research development and activity

PRIDE is currently working with Research Champion Kathy Rodenhurst and the Shropshire team in the pilot of a Research Capacity and Culture survey to identify research needs and gaps for practice, we aim to roll out this survey to other teams to offer a regional picture.

PRIDE has worked closely with two public health teams to support NIHR applications and advise on approaches for ongoing “in house” evaluation projects.

PRIDE is currently supporting the development of a large MPFT public health led grant application to design and effective population level intervention for those with frailty.

For more information and to register your interest in PRIDE please get in touch!

Follow us on Twitter @MPFTResearch or email prideproject@mpft.nhs.uk