Doctorate in Clinical Research (DClinRes)

Responding to a challenge

Our Doctorate in Clinical Research has been developed in response to a need, identified by training commissioners and professional organisations, for specific skills training within this area of the healthcare workforce.

Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) such as nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, radiographers and occupational therapists have a critical role to play in meeting health and social care challenges at the fore of global health concerns.

These include an

  • aging population,
  • chronic diseases,
  • and new endemics

AHPs engage in an ever widening range of activities, many of which are highly complex and take place in multiple care environments including acute medicine, chronic care facilities, community and residential care homes. Example activities include patient education programmes, the coordination and delivery of packages of psychosocial care, and support for patient self-care.

Changes in healthcare organisation internationally (e.g. short hospital periods and growing responsibility for patient self-care) are placing more healthcare in the hands of AHPs, increasing the scope and the overall need for an underpinning evidence base.

The relevance of a Complex Interventions Research Framework

The care provided by AHPs to patients is an increasingly complicated activity and can be seen as the quintessential ‘complex intervention’ – defined as an activity that contains a number of component parts with the potential for interactions between them which, when applied to the intended target population, produces a range of possible and variable outcomes (Medical Research Council, 2008).

Complex interventions are widespread throughout all of health and social care, from the apparently simple example of pharmacological treatment with its combination of biochemical, social and psychological factors influencing patient concordance and physiological response, to more obviously complex educational or psychological interventions where a multi-layered set of dynamic features have great bearing on ultimate effectiveness.

Our programmes are underpinned by the Medical Research Council’s mixed methods Complex Interventions Research Framework, which emphasises our commitment to applied research in a healthcare context.