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Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute

The Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute, launched in 2019, sits within the University of Sunderland’s prestigious School of Nursing and Health Sciences.



The University benefited from a generous, multi-million pound donation from philanthropist and entrepreneur Helen McArdle, which was instrumental in the creation of the innovative new Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute in 2019. The University’s Shackleton House building has been re-named Helen McArdle House in recognition of this extraordinary gift. 

The opening of Helen McArdle house at the University of Sunderland

Helen McArdle and University of Sunderland staff and students at the opening of the new Helen McArdle House, home to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute

Opened in September 2019, the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute focuses on four strategic programmes of research and knowledge exchange:

1) Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions (NMAHPs)

2) Health Inequalities

3) Health Services Research

4) Health and Care Workforce Interdisciplinary Research Network

These strategic programmes are aligned to international, national and regional policy in these areas. Since opening, the Institute’s strategy has also evolved in response to key national and regional policy on the impact of the pandemic on the commissioning and delivery of services in the NHS, local authority, and care, alongside the evidenced widening of health inequalities.

The Institute works collaboratively with external organisations from health, social care, local authority, academic, commercial, and professional bodies. These international, national, and regional partnerships produce co-designed research and knowledge exchange activities under the four Institute programmes and four workstreams to provide recommendations and solutions to health and wellbeing challenges across the continuum of care.

Find out more information on health and wellbeing in Sunderland, Sunderland Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 2021 - 2022 Review


Four Institute Programmes

The four programmes of research and knowledge exchange are set out below, supported by the Institute’s External Advisory Board and the knowledge and expertise of our Visiting Professors and Research Fellows.

Four Institute Workstreams

The four programmes are supported by four strategic workstreams of: 


The drivers of these research and knowledge exchange workstreams are to produce outputs which can change service delivery and models of integrated care, improve population health and influence policy and practice.

4 Institute Workstreams, out of hospital care, military and veteran health and wellbeing, obesity and bariatric surgical care and women's health


Research and knowledge exchange leads

Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals (NMAHPs):

Dr Yitka Graham

Professor Catherine Hayes

Mrs Gill Maw


Dr Heather Yemm

Hospital Pharmacy:

Mrs Lindsay Parkin

Community Pharmacy:

Mr Callum Tierney


The Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute offers lectures, podcasts and webinars to highlight the work of the Institute, and our collaborations with partner organisations, providing opportunities for discussion and debate.

These activities will be open to, and bring together, University staff and students, local and regional NHS and care workforces, including health and social care organisations, and the public.


A student nurse

For almost 100 years, researchers at the University have been challenging themselves and their subject in order to improve society across all its facets – from the early days of pharmacy to the support for heavy industry at its height, through to today's new sciences and advanced technologies. The Institute’s vision is to provide a research-rich environment that allows the current cohort of research active staff to achieve their full potential, and to support all other staff who aspire to being research active in becoming so.


Current opportunities

Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Want to make a real difference? Our newest PhD studentship 'Exploring health inequalities in deprived populations in Sunderland' is accepting applications until March 25 2022. This unique opportunity is a collaboration between the Helen McArdle Nursing and Care Research Institute and Sunderland City Council who are working together to improve health and wellbeing across our great City of Sunderland.

You can find more details and the application process here

Our partners, accreditations and networks

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