Director for NIHR East of England Regional Research Delivery Network appointed

Dr Helen Macdonald has been appointed as Director of the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) East of England Regional Research Delivery Network (RRDN), which is hosted regionally by our Trust.

The NIHR is the nation’s largest funder of clinical, public health, social care and translational research. The NIHR’s Research Delivery Network (RDN) will be its delivery arm, supporting teams in the NHS and social care to carry out high quality research, as well as funding training and facilities.

Helen will take up the role on 1 April 2024, with the RRDN service delivery due to begin on 1 October 2024. This follows the end of the contract for the NIHR’s current regional delivery arm, the Clinical Research Network (CRN) East of England, on 30 September 2024.

The RRDN Director is the senior officer responsible for the overall leadership, delivery and management of the RRDN. As RRDN Director, Helen will be a member of the RDN Board, which will also include representatives from the RDN Coordinating Centre and Department of Health and Social Care.

As a RDN Board member, Helen will be a senior leader and ambassador for RDN, contributing to the ongoing development of the vision, direction and strategic aims for the RDN at national level and translating this into deliverable priorities regionally.

Helen brings a wealth of experience to the post, having worked in research management for over 20 years, the last five of which have been in the role of Chief Operating Officer for CRN East of England.

Helen said: “I am thrilled to have been appointed as Network Director of the NIHR’s Research Delivery Network in the region. It is an absolute privilege to be able to continue to build on the incredible work of all NHS trusts and other health and care organisations delivering care and research supported by the Clinical Research Network.

“I look forward to welcoming new partners from October 2024 which, together with all East of England research teams, will deliver on the exciting new RDN agenda to increase opportunities for people to take part in research.”

Professor Erika Denton, executive responsible for hosting the RRDN at the NNUH, said: “As host of the NIHR Research Delivery Network for the East of England, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is very grateful to Dr Helen Macdonald for continuing to bring significant leadership, expertise and determination to enable research to flourish across the NHS and wider care and community settings in the region.”

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