National Institute of Health Research North East North Cumbria Applied Research Collaboration







In 2019 the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) awarded funding for a Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) in the North East and North Cumbria (NENC). ARCs aim to tackle the key issues facing health and social care systems and which cause health and care inequality.  The funding allows researchers to focus on the biggest health and social issues locally and to develop solutions that reflect the needs and views of local people. The ARC’s vision for the North East and North Cumbria is to achieve ‘better, fairer health and care at all ages and in all places.’ 

As part of the NENC ARC, the Centre for Research in Health and Society at the University of Cumbria received specific funding for:

More detail of these can be found on the pages below.

Universal credit through the eyes of Children and Young People

Researchers from Cumbria, Newcastle, and Northumbria Universities, alongside Children North East, Investing in Children and the North East Child Poverty Commission, have undertaken three studies to understand children and young people’s views on Universal Credit.

Study one: A rapid review of children and young people's views of poverty and welfare, funded by Research England's Policy Support Fund

Bidmead, E., El Zerbi, C., Cheetham, M., & Frost, S. (2023). A rapid review of children and young people's views of poverty and welfare in the context of Universal Credit. Children & Society, 00, 1–19.   

Study two: Young people’s views on Universal Credit in North East England using creative methods (ages 12-16), funded by Newcastle University QR Policy Support Fund

Young people’s views on universal credit in North East England, how might these influence policy? UC 12-16 Final Report May 23 

UC 12-16 Final Report Appendices

UC Summary for Young People May 23 

UC Policy Briefing 

UC Toolkit Final 

Study three: Understanding Children’s views on Universal Credit using creative methods (ages 5-11), funded by NIHR Clinical Research Network NENC, Targeting health needs award - ongoing.


Health and Social Inequalities Review

During 2020-2022 a scoping review was undertaken to map health and social inequalities in North Cumbria and to identify what the issues were, who they affected and in which ways.  Two case studies were also undertaken focussing on Maryport

IoD Report - Final

Maryport A Left Behind community - Data Dive - Final

Maryport Resources and Services

Health Inequalities Survey Report November 2021


Funded PhD Studies

Trauma Informed Arts Based Practices with Children, Young People and Families in North Cumbria - this three year full time PhD study by Lydia Pell is in its initial stages of development and more detail will be provided when its fully defined.  Lydia would be glad to hear from any such practices across North Cumbria.


Non-representational Theory in Evaluation in North Cumbria – this three year full time PhD study by Adam Webb is in its initial stages of development and is likely to explore participation, co-production and co-design of services. Further details will be provided when it is fully defined.


Open Grant Funded Research Projects


Experts by Experience: Youth Perspectives on Health and Wellbeing – a participatory youth research project

This project aims to improve health and care services for young people across NENC and is a partnership between the University of Cumbria, Northumbria University, William Howard School and Carlisle Youth Zone.

The team will support 35 young people to become confident and capable young researchers, inquiring into health and wellbeing issues important to them. There will be a group of 20 young researchers in William Howard School and 15 young researchers in Carlisle Youth Zone researching between January and July 2020. The young people will undertake research projects of their choice supported by the research team. We hope this will lead to more youth informed and young person friendly health and wellbeing policy and practice across NENC, enabling young people to experience better health and wellbeing.

Simultaneously the research team will research the process of youth participatory research enabling more youth led research and co-production to happen regionally and nationally.

WHS YPR Self Image Report

WHS YPR Sixth Form Student Wellbeing in Lockdown Report

YPR Resource Report

WHS YPR Self Image and Covid Report


Young people from Carlisle Youth Zone spent a week researching young people’s health. They have produced the following film to share their experiences and learning: Experts by Experience - an autoethnographic research film featuring the work of young people at Carlisle Youth Zone 2021.


An Exploration of Therapeutic Horticulture and Agriculture as Supports for Vulnerable Young People’s Wellbeing

This research aims to improve health and care services for young people across NENC by providing a model of therapeutic horticulture and therapeutic agriculture for children and young people who are marginalised. The objectives are to develop site specific insight into these services which can be generalised to NENC and beyond in the form of practice and policy guidelines. This 15 month research project is in partnership between the University of Cumbria, Susan’s Farm, The Children’s Foundation, and Newcastle University.  


The NIHR Research Design Service

The RDS support health and social care researchers on all aspects of developing grant applications. Advice is free of charge and confidential. Advisors from the RDS are at the Fusehill site regularly (see list of dates and locations below). If you have an idea for a research project that you would like to discuss with the RDS please email to arrange an appointment

The RDS service is usually located at the Fusehill Street Campus one day each week. Due to the unprecedented global challenges concerning the covid-19 virus the proposed sessions below for the remainder of this academic year will now not take place.  The RDS service are taking teleconference/Skype consultation appointments if anyone wants to urgently discuss a research project. Any enquires or RDS appointment can be made via and 0191 208 7000.

Stuart, K., Shay, M. (2018) Countering Epistemological Exclusion Through Critical-Ethical Research to Support Social Justice: Methodological Comparisons Between Australia and the United Kingdom in Educational Research in the Age of Anthropocene.

Kenward, L. (2018) ‘Developing a framework as a concourse management strategy: a selected literature review to guide novice researchers using Q Methodology’ Nurse Researcher.


Health and Social Inequalities Scoping Review:

Trauma Informed Arts Based Practices –

Non-representational Theory in Evaluation –

Youth Participatory Research:

Therapeutic Horticulture and Agriculture:


For general contact with the research centre reach us at:


Facebook: CRHealthandSociety

Twitter: @CentreCrihs

Linkedin: Centre for Research in Health and Society

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