United Kingdom Leicester

University of Leicester

Department of Health Sciences

Brief Overview

Leicester is a leading university committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. It celebrates diversity among staff and students; commits to widening participation in higher education; and engages with local, national and international communities.

Leicester is ranked in the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings which takes into account the quality of research and the number of research-active staff making REF returns. Health Sciences is a research-led department engaged in internationally-recognised research, with strong links to the NHS bringing together basic and clinical scientists with strengths in microbial sciences, respiratory sciences, and immunology.

Research Areas

  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Epidemiology
  • Fibrosis
  • Genetics

Host centre eligibility

Global fellowships (return phase only)/European fellowships – in line with current status

Research infrastructure/facilities

The department of Health Sciences is housed in the £42m state-of-the-art George Davies Centre, designed to support innovative and multidisciplinary collaboration. The Genetic Epidemiology group has access to the £2m (3500 core) High Performance Computing facility with computing support service and secure IT systems.

It has links with the Midlands Health Data Research (HDR) Substantive Site and the national HDR UK Digital Innovation Hub focused on respiratory disease, providing data infrastructure and support. The NIHR BRC respiratory centre, supported by the Leicester Precision Medicine Institute, brings links with clinical expertise and facilities for patient recruitment and translation of genetic findings.

Research funding/resources

Health Sciences and Respiratory Sciences together have an annual income of around £14M provided by the MRC, NIHR, Wellcome Trust, EU and other non-profit organisations. Much of this provides resources that support research and infrastructure in the respiratory field including:

  • NIHR Biomedical research centre with respiratory theme (£11.6M)
  • Better Respiratory Health Digital Innovation Hub (£4.6M)
  • Large funded clinical cohorts, e.g. ‘EXCEED’, ‘Advanced COPD’ and ‘Severe Asthma’
  • Wellcome Trust PhD programme in genomic epidemiology (£4M)
  • The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node (£2.5M)
  • This is supplemented by large industry funded clinical trials.

Links to non-academic sector

The extensive university and BRC infrastructure support translates into economic and patient benefit, through training and capacity development, PPI and industry engagement. The Leicester Life Sciences Opportunity Zone, together with Space Park Leicester, provide incubator space with state-of-the-art, high-tech facilities for research, development, manufacturing and data handling.

The Leicester Innovation Hub and Leicester Life Science Accelerator provide support and training to develop new clinical products/ideas, spin out companies, secondment opportunities and engagement with local SMEs. The Leicestershire Academic Health Partnership and BRC support regional infrastructure linkage to maximise funding and facilitate industrial collaborations.

Experience hosting international researchers, career development & training programmes, outreach activities

The Department of Health Sciences and Respiratory Sciences provides a vibrant environment with excellent teaching, active seminar series and top researchers with established strengths across epidemiology, medical statistics and respiratory science. Both host external fellows and have significant GCRF and EU income for collaborations. The Leicester Institute of Advanced Studies supports visiting international fellows, regularly running networking activities and events. The Wellcome Trust DTP also attracts and supports international scholars.

An established mentorship programme combined with tailored Doctoral College led training programmes, including research effectiveness, personal effectiveness and engagement, supports career and skills development of researchers.

Early Career Researchers have a regular forum for engagement and the post-doctoral and research staff association provides support and social activities. Public outreach activities include: images of research; lunchtime public lectures and Café Research with business engagement support through the Leicester Life Sciences Accelerator.

HR Excellence in Research – EU award


Contact persons