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Health & Social Care Research Across North East & North Cumbria.


Meet the Team

The specialty therapy area of cancer is divided into 15 sub-specialties. Due to the complexity of the cancer specialty group, each sub-specialty has its own lead or champion, who promotes and supports research in their specialty across NHS trusts and social care settings. Contact your research delivery manager for more information.

Penny Williams

Research delivery manager

CRN North East and North Cumbria

Dr Helen Marr

Cancer specialty group lead

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Penny Williams's research experience

I’m the research delivery manager for cancer, haematology and imaging. I’m also seconded to the CRN Coordinating Centre for part of my time as head of research workforce development. I’ve been involved in research for many years firstly as an research and delivery manager before joining the research network in 2006.

My tips for getting involved in research include contacting me or a member of my team, finding out who is research active in your team and finding a good mentor, the mentor directory can help with this!

Connect with Penny Williams

Email Penny

Tweet Penny

Find Penny on LinkedIn

Dr Helen Marr's research experience

I am a consultant haematologist specialising in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, lymphoma, and autologous bone marrow transplant. I qualified from University of Nottingham in 2002 and completed my general medical training in Newcastle, before working in Christchurch, New Zealand as a haematology registrar for 18 months. I completed my specialty haematology training in Newcastle and Northern Deanery and subsequently took time out to complete a PhD in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia from 2012-2015.

After finishing my specialty training, I worked in the Freeman Hospital as a clinical fellow in research, helping with recruitment and management of patients on haematology clinical trials, before taking up my consultant post in 2017.

I am the chair of the regional haematology multidisciplinary team and sit on the UK CLL Forum committee.

Connect with Dr Helen Marr

Email Helen

How to get involved


Visit the national specialty page here

Get in touch

Contact the North East and North Cumbria Study Support Service via email

Training opportunities

Have a look at the NIHR Academy and the training opportunities on offer. 



Apply for the Associate PI scheme

 Familiarise yourself with the associate principal investigator scheme, a six month training opportunity which provides practical opportunities for healthcare professionals who are at the start of their research career.