Our Partnership

Working in partnership to bring benefits to research, people and health care on the South West Peninsula

We are part of the NIHR and hosted by the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (the Royal Devon) in partnership with the University of Exeter and in collaboration with NHS organisations.

Our partnership, between the Royal Devon and the University of Exeter, is underpinned by a joint research collaboration. It’s a research collaboration that has developed over the last two decades, helping to facilitate collaborative working for the benefit of people, research and the health and care system. Together, our experimental medicine research has flourished and been acknowledged with three Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, celebrating excellence, innovation and public benefit in work carried out by UK colleges and universities.

Our centre brings together world-class medical research leaders from across the region. Our partnership is supported by collaboration with:

For us as an NHS organisation, the clear benefit of NHS academic partnerships with universities is on outcomes for patient care. It’s also about access for colleagues and people working in healthcare to the latest thinking, research and evidence. The benefits this brings to people using the NHS and for us as an organisation is huge, helping us to recruit and retain high-calibre people, which really makes a difference. Academic partnerships are also about teaching, education, and learning in research-rich environments. Our organisations have so many overlapping objectives, meaning our partnership can help us jointly to deliver many more benefits to patients and colleagues.

Sam Higginson, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Our partnership is supported by a management structure that reflects its collaborative nature, including:

A Joint Strategic Partnership Board

The Joint Strategic Partnership board is co-chaired by the Royal Devon Trust Chief Executive Officer, Sam Higginson, and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, Professor Lisa Roberts. The board has oversight of the BRC to help us achieve our aims of collaborative working to deliver the benefits of partnership working in health research to the health and care system and to the people of Devon, the UK and globally.

The board oversees the way we embed research practices in key healthcare areas to benefit patients, connect with academics to explore healthcare innovations and attract, develop and retain talent across our organisations and develop shared ways of working to help us meet the health needs of our local populations, now and in the future.

The board is responsible for:

  • delivery of our research and translation strategy
  • oversight of our governance and management structures
  • oversight and approval of our research planning, finance and reporting
  • maximising the benefits of our collaborative partnerships.

Who is on the board?

A Joint Research Office

The Joint Research Office helps to create a streamlined service between our two organisations, making it easier for researchers to share knowledge and to access services, activities and opportunities.

The Joint Research Office (JRO) is a partnership between the Royal Devon and the University of Exeter’s College of Medicine and Health.

The JRO helps researchers to develop and deliver world-class experimental, translational and health research and provides a mechanism to enable effective collaborative working with life sciences partners.

The JRO works hand-hand with the Royal Devon Innovation Hub and the University of Exeter’s Innovation Impact and Business department, to bring health innovations to life for patients and businesses.

This exciting and productive relationship enables us to deliver outstanding and globally recognised research and innovation; transforming clinical care, technologies and medicines for people locally, nationally and worldwide.