Your Guide to Research and Development

The Research & Development Team comprises Dr Rosemary Wilson, R&D Officer, Ashley Gray, Research Governance Administrator and Kirsty Blair, R&D Clerical Support. Our office is based in the Administration Building at Falkirk Community Hospital but our work covers the whole of Forth Valley.

We are here to help researchers with every aspect of Health Services Research from designing the protocol, to disseminating results and exploiting inventions. It is our role to promote Patient Centre Health Research and ensure that this is carried out safely and appropriately within the organisation.

The R&D office can provide help, advice, information and support on

  • Funding and training opportunities
  • Networking with other individuals/organisations in your field
  • Designing/writing protocols, grant applications and other documents
  • Completing application forms and applying for approvals
  • Developing and marketing new ideas and inventions
  • Publishing and disseminating results

For more information on Research & Development and services which we provide please visit The R&D office can be contacted directly at or by telephoning 01324 677564              

Focus on Oesophageal Cancer

Two major studies into oesophogeal cancer – the fastest rising cancer in the developed world – are taking place in NHS Forth Valley, and both are meeting with considerable success.

They’re being carried out by Dr Stuart Paterson, Research Nurse Maggie Hughes and the gastroenterology team.

The aim of the BOSS study is to establish whether the benefits of two-yearly endoscopic surveillance in Barrett’s oesophagus patients outweighs the risks compared with endoscopy at need only.

Thirty years ago oesophageal adenocarcinoma was a rare malignancy but there are now more than 5,000 cases a year in the UK. The relentless rise in this malignancy is likely to continue unless the underlying causes are identified and appropriate prevention strategies are put in place.

The other research programme known as ChOPin is being funded by Cancer Research UK. This is looking into whether genetic factors may increase the risk of oesophageal cancer and NHS Forth Valley is the highest recruiter in Scotland and the second highest recruiter in the UK.

The team is also participating to help the treatment and counselling of oesophageal cancer patients and their families.  It’s hoped that increased understanding of why the condition develops could possibly provide new medical tests or treatment.

Research Funding Support

The Research and Development Committee receives an annual allocation of funding from the Endowment committee and any employee who wants to conduct research can apply for funding support. Although formal applications are invited two or three times a year, applications will be considered at any time.

The types of projects funded are:

  • small scale research projects
  • pilot studies leading to application for larger funding
  • extended literature reviews prior to application for funding
  • dissemination of completed projects through conference presentations or by other means

The amount of funding per project is up to £5,000.

Application forms can be requested from the R&D office or via the intranet.

Trials Success

NHS Forth Valley has been one of the top recruiting sites for cancer trials both within Scotland and the UK. The initial target of increasing recruitment was quickly achieved, and more than 700 patients are now taking part in a portfolio covering haematology, breast, urology, lung and colorectal trials. Of the 56 trials established, 16 are open to recruitment, 34 are closed to national recruitment but remain in active follow-up and 6 are in set up. This excellent recruitment within cancer trials has only been possible through the close working relationships which have been developed across the multidisciplinary teams, and it is recognised that participation in clinical trials improves patient outcomes.

The Cancer Trials Team is based in office 1 within the oncology department of Forth Valley Royal Hospital. For any further information relating to cancer trials please contact Lynn Prentice (Cancer Trials Practitioner) / Sally Young (Cancer Trials Practitioner) /  Anne Todd (Research nurse) on 01324 566316 or email:

Join The Club!

The Research Club takes place twice a year and is normally held in the Learning Centre at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. This relaxed and informal event is open to anyone and provides an opportunity for researchers to bring along their work to display to colleagues. The next Research Club meeting will take place on 29th May 2015 and Dr Robert Rhea from Scottish Health Innovations Ltd will be giving a short talk. Posters and publications from previous events can be accessed here

Interested in Research?

Generic Research has developed a successful portfolio of research across a variety of specialties within Forth Valley. There are currently 10 active studies and a number of these are within Gastroenterology. The Generic Research team is based in Stirling Community Hospital within the Admin Building. They provide support to staff in NHS Forth Valley undertaking research studies. This includes:-

  • Preparing paperwork for Ethics and R&D approval
  • Identification of new suitable studies in which NHS Forth Valley can participate
  • Coordinating and assisting in clinical trials procedures and patient visits

Contact the Generic Research team on 01786 434102 or

Maggie Hughes  078185884321
Anne Todd 07768033743