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NoRTH: Northern Realist Research Team Hub

NoRTH comprises an experienced team of researchers based at Northumbria University with established regional, national and international links, who have expertise in and are regularly using and developing realist approaches to research. Being driven by the ideas of research impact and working on a strong collaborative ethos with practice and academic colleagues, we have found the realist approach particularly useful to generate research with real world impact. 

The overall function of the Hub is: 

  • To support researchers engaging in realist projects – from novice to experienced
  • Coordinate a regular and vibrant regional realist reading and support group
  • To run workshops on the use of realist approaches
  • To promote the use and understanding of realist thinking whenever appropriate
  • To disseminate examples of realist work, and methodological advancements
  • To support students who wish to learn more about realist approaches
  • To stimulate innovative discussion and debates that contributes to the advancement of realist methodology

North logo Previous and current Northumbria University projects have a diversity that is typical of the method application, including but not limited to: palliative and end of life care; long term conditions; public health interventions; frailty; welfare advice; marginalised groups; sports coach development; criminology; whole systems change; drug and alcohol services.

We also support a number of PhD students and early career researchers.


Recent Presentations

EMMIE: tenses and tensions in meeting evaluation needs

Speaker: Professor Nick Tilley

Managing Messiness in the Real Research World: Real Messiness, NVivo and Emergence

Speaker: Dr Sonia Dalkin and Dr Kathryn McEwan


Seminar Series: Realist and Economic Evaluation Methods (REEM)

Integrating realist and economic evaluation methods (REEM) to better understand and evaluate the benefits and costs of complex health and social care interventions: why, what, and how?

The Multidisciplinary Research Theme (MDRT) in Integrated Health and Social Care (IHSC) has hosted a seminar series alongside the Northern Research Team Hub (NoRTH). Details and recordings of the seminars can be found below:

Seminar 1 (27th April 2022): MRC Complex Intervention Evaluation Guidelines: Bringing together theory-based and economic evaluation – but is it realistic? – Neil Caig


Seminar 2 (19th May 2022): Researching community-led initiatives, health and wellbeing - where are we and where are we headed? Drawing on the early stages of the Common Health Assets project to draw out challenges, methods and progress – Rachel Baker


Seminar 3 (22nd June 2022): What is the point of the context-mechanism-outcome configuration? – Geoff Wong


We would like to thank all the speakers for their thought-provoking presentations.

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