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Research Centres

The Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing contain and supports a number of affiliated Research Units and Centres, outlined below. Please follow the links to visit dedicated pages for each of these.

Durham Health and Social Theory Group

Housed in the Department of Sociology, we have members from a variety of Departments throughout Durham University, Northern England, the UK, and various universities and organisations across the rest of the world. In short, while resolutely sociological, our approach is interdisciplinary and global. Our research combines inter-disciplinary knowledge and expertise around ageing (biology, technology, physical activity, and formal and informal networks of care and support); professions and work (pharmacy, public health, sport and physical activity, social work, social care and governance, policy networks and capacity building); health behaviours (young mothers and breastfeeding, nutrition, physical activity and weight loss); the complexities of health (nexus issues, complex health systems, public health) and community and place (health promotion, health inequalities, place, well-being and community pharmacy). Core concepts include citizenship, the social contract and voice; measurement, self-rated health and evidence; social complexity and identity, equity, and equality.

Durham Centre for Imaging (DCI)

Durham Centre for Imaging has the primary role of encouraging and facilitating research using the University's Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) facility. The facility is shared equally between the University and South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust, and is situated at the James Cook University Hospital (JCUH) in Middlesbrough. The Centre organizes regular scientific meetings, facilitates and coordinates in-house and external training, and co-ordinates meetings of facility users for discussions on specific topics.

Centre for Global Infectious Disease (CGID)

Microbial pathogens are major threats to global human health and food security. For example, 19 tropical diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and helminths affect a staggering 2.7 billion people. This problem is exacerbated by the rise of drug resistance and a lack of investment in antimicrobial discovery. Drawing on expertise at Durham and partner organisations across the biological, chemical and physical sciences, we seek to develop collaborative efforts for the identification and inhibition of novel antimicrobial targets, ultimately leading towards the development of new therapies and preventative strategies.

Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease

Established in April 2001, the Centre for the History of Medicine and Disease (CHMD) is a Research Centre that provides a focus for interdisciplinary research and postgraduate education in the history of medicine, health, disease, and medical ethics. It has members from several departments with interests in history of medicine, including Archaeology, Geography, History, Modern European Languages and Cultures, and Philosophy.

Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)

Durham CELLS supports excellence in teaching and research on the ethical, social and regulatory issues raised by the life sciences. We promote exchanges of ideas and the production of high-quality scholarship within and beyond the University. Our expertise spans a wide range of academic disciplines such as anthropology, biology, law, medicine, philosophy, sociology and theology.

Anthropology of Health Group

The Anthropology of Health Group bridges biological and social anthropology, community medicine, evolutionary medicine, social epidemiology and public health. We work on local, regional and international scales. We aim to advance the interdisciplinary anthropological study of health, to critically debate local and international health issues, and to support impact and outreach activities.

NIHR Research Design Service North East and North Cumbria (NENC)

The Research Design Service (RDS) is part of the infrastructure of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The NENC is one of several regional services around the country, providing help to investigators preparing research proposals for submission to national peer-reviewed funding competitions for applied health or social care research.

It comprises a team of experienced researchers based in universities and the NHS across the region, able to advise and provide methodological and practical advice when you are developing your grant application. As the RDS is funded by the NIHR for this purpose, this advice and support is provided free of charge.  Priority is given to those applying to NIHR funding bodies.

The Centre for Social Justice and Community Action

The Centre for Social Justice and Community Action is a research centre at Durham University, made up of academic researchers from a number of departments and community partners. Our aim is to promote and develop research, teaching, public/community engagement, and staff development within and outside the university.  Our broad theme is social justice in local and international settings, with a specific focus on participatory action research.

Centre for Death and Life Studies

The Centre exists to foster and conduct research into life-values, beliefs, and practices that relate to living and dying. It seeks to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary approaches wherever possible between the humanities, the social and life-sciences, and medicine. It also benefits from the support of Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study.

Durham Endocrinology & Ecology Laboratory

The Durham Endocrinology & Ecology Laboratory is a biological facility located at the Wolfson Research Institute, Queen's Campus, Stockton. Developed by the Department of Anthropology, the lab is designed to conduct interdisciplinary research into endocrine biomarkers in the domains of stress, reproductive ecology, obesity and health. This unique research facility has been established to support a wide range of novel anthropological and health-related research projects and collaborations.

Enquiries regarding the laboratory, its facilities, usage costings, hormone research and future collaboration should be directed to Gill Cooper in the first instance: (0191 334 0466).

Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA)

Based within the School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (CRiVA) is dedicated to improving knowledge about interpersonal violence and abuse and to improving professional and societal responses. As such, the Centre has research impact at its core. CRiVA was launched by joint directors Professor Nicole Westmarland and Professor Simon Hackett in June 2013.  Professors Westmarland and Hackett both have backgrounds in the voluntary sector – working towards ending violence and abuse in society – and this is a driving force in the work of CRiVA. 

The Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre

The Durham Infancy & Sleep Centre (DISC--formerly the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab) is a research centre of the Department of Anthropology, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health and the Wolfson Institute for Health & Well-being. It is the home for a group of researchers examining various aspects of infant and child sleep and parenting behaviour. The research programmes have been in operation since 1995. As our research team has grown our research focus has broadened to cover infant and child sleep ecology, sleep development, sleep safety, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), parental sleep, night-time infant care, feeding practices, thermal care and infant thermoregulation during sleep, twin infant sleep behaviour and physiology, postnatal ward environments and maternal-infant sleep, cross-cultural infant care practices, and the evaluation of interventions affecting parental and infant sleep. We collaborate with academics from a wide range of disciplines around the world, and with a variety of research users. We created and run the Baby Sleep Info Source website for parents and health professionals in order to make academic infant sleep research findings available to parents and health professionals. DISC provides opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students to become involved in our research, and we welcome enquiries.