Dr Heidi Gardner
Dr Heidi Gardner

Dr Heidi Gardner

Research Fellow

Accepting PhDs

About

Health Services Research Unit,
University of Aberdeen,
3rd Floor, Health Sciences Building,
Foresterhill,
Aberdeen,
AB25 1SN

Biography

I joined HSRU in 2015 as a PhD student funded by The Development Trust, and under the supervision of Prof Shaun Treweek and Dr Katie Gillies. My project focussed on improving the efficiency of clinical trials, with particular focus on participant recruitment. Following completion of my PhD, I worked for 6 months as a Research Assistant, supporting work on ImproveHD, PRioRiTy II and various other trial methodology projects.

Throughout my PhD I played an active role in HSRU's Public Engagement Group, co-leading and taking part in events across various Aberdeen Festivals (May Festival, TechFest, Explorathon). In July 2018 I was awarded the runner up prize for the Principal's Prize for Public Engagement in the Early Career Researcher category, and in 2019 I won the prize.

In 2018 I was named as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow. As part of this Fellowship I designed and led a research project around the use of blogging to creatively communicate scientific ideas and processes. My brief hiatus from HSRU involved 3 months of fully funded travel to the USA, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong.

I returned to HSRU in March 2019 and since then I've worked as a Research Fellow leading the CSO-funded ORINOCO Project, which focusses on optimising the use of trial resources in relation to outcome collection. I've also worked on various Trial Forge related methods projects, including the INCLUDE Ethnicity Framework, The People's Trial, and DataCat. I'm passionate about accessibility and diversity in science, and have been actively working to pull that passion through into my trial methods work, pushing for a culture of inclusivity to increase diversity in trial participant populations.

Qualifications

  • MSci Pharmacology with Industrial Placement 
    2015 - University of Aberdeen 
  • PhD Applied Health Sciences 
    2018 - University of Aberdeen 

Latest Publications

View My Publications

Prizes and Awards

2019 Cochrane's 30 Under 30
2019 University of Aberdeen's Principal's Prize for Public Engagement with Research - Early Career Award
2018 YWCA Scotland's 30 Under 30
2018 University of Aberdeen's Principal's Prize for Public Engagement with Research - Early Career Runner Up
2015 University of Aberdeen's Stewart Bourner Pharmacology Project Prize

Research

Research Overview

My research spans various facets of trial conduct research, including participant recruitment, retention, outcome collection, communication both within trial teams and with  participants and the public, and equity, diversity and inclusivity in both the teams doing the work, and the participants within the trial population. I firmly believe that we can work to improve the efficiency of trials through effective dissemination and implementation of evidence, which will in turn improve participant experience of trials.

My work is multidisciplinary and I tend to use a mixed methods approach to ensure that research questions are tackled thoroughly. My research has included including pragmatic use of qualitative methodologies, concepts such as user-testing and user experience design which originated in design and marketing industries, and systematic reviews of non-randomised studies.

Research Areas

Accepting PhDs

I am currently accepting PhDs in Applied Health Sciences.


Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your research ideas further.

Email Me

Applied Health Sciences

Supervising
Accepting PhDs

Research Specialisms

  • Health Sciences
  • Medical Sciences
  • Research Skills

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Supervision

My current supervision areas are: Applied Health Sciences.

NIHR Pre-doctoral Fellowship: Katie Biggs (University of Sheffield), Mapping the literature on inclusivity in trials and reviewing representation in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of complex interventions. Ongoing, co-supervision alongside Prof Alicia O'Cathain (University of Sheffield) and Dr Liz Such (University of Sheffield).

Funding and Grants

Research Funding

Dates Award holder(s) Funding body Title Value
February 2022 - February 2023 Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Alan Montgomery, University of Nottingham) NIHR Efficient Trials

REcruitment in Mental health trials: broadening the ‘net’, opportunities for INclusivity through online methoDs (RE-MIND Study)

£72,944
January 2022 - June 2023 Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen) CSO (Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research) Improving ethnic diversity in trials: helping trial teams recruit and retain the ethnic groups essential for results with community-wide relevance and applicability £188,146
October 2021 - September 2022 Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Cindy L Cooper, University of Sheffield) NIHR Efficient Trials A collaborative study between CTUs and other researchers to identify the activities needed to improve representation of under-served groups in trials and understand their implementation £78,718
June-November 2021 PI MRC-NIHR-TMRP Minority ExpeRiences In Trials (MERIT) Understanding why ethnic minority groups are under-represented in trials through a rapid qualitative evidence synthesis, and mapping evidence to find solutions £9,967
  Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Sandra Eldridge, Queen Mary University of London) NIHR Efficient Trials Promoting INCLUsivity through improving the practice anD utility of Ethnicity Data collection in trials (INCLUDED) £79,820
March 2019 - March 2021 Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen) Chief Scientist Office (Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research) A good use of time and money? Providing evidence for how effort is invested in primary and secondary outcome data collection in trials £224,213
March 2018 PI Winston Churchill Memorial Trust 2018 Fellowship Award for a project titled: Putting pants on the truth: Improving practice of UK sci-bloggers £8,200
July 2016-January 2018 Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen) Chief Scientist Office (Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research) Putting research methodology into practice: producing useful evidence about trial recruitment strategies for trial designers and recruiters

£26,322

 

Travel and Conference Funding

Dates Award holder(s) Funding body Title Value
October 2021 Personal award Staff Development Fund. Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen Funds to attend the Westminster Health Forum Policy Conference on priorities for tackling ethnic minority healthcare inequalities

£126

January 2021 Personal award Staff Development Fund. Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen Funds to attend the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management course

£100

June 2017 Personal award Staff Development Fund. Institute of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen Funds to attend the Evidence Live conference in Oxford (2017)

£500

September 2017 Co-Applicant (PI: Prof Shaun Treweek, University of Aberdeen) Chief Scientist Office (Health Improvement, Protection and Services Research) Travel award (Global Evidence Summit, Cape Town, South Africa)

£750

 

Public Engagement Funding

Dates Award holder(s) Funding body Title Value
April 2018 Lead Applicant Public Engagement with Research Unit, University of Aberdeen –  Enabling Award Funds to support inaugural Soapbox Science Aberdeen event (May Festival 2018) £430
April 2018 Lead Applicant May Festival Funds to support inaugural Soapbox Science Aberdeen event (May Festival 2018) £150
 April 2018 Lead Applicant British Science Association Funds to support inaugural Soapbox Science Aberdeen event (May Festival 2018)  £300
June 2017 Co-Applicant (Group award, Lead: Dr Heather Morgan, University of Aberdeen) Marie Curie Alumni Association, Scotland Chapter Funds to support HSRU public engagement activity in late 2017

£198.80

May 2017 Co-Applicant (Group award, Lead: Dr Heather Morgan, University of Aberdeen) Public Engagement with Research Unit, University of Aberdeen –  Enabling Award Funds to support HSRU public engagement activity at May Festival 2017

£424.60

Teaching
Publications

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