Skip to main content

Donor Research

Donor Research is an award-winning NHSBT-funded network of healthcare professionals, academics and students. They work collaboratively to advance, support and shape their community's awareness of blood and organ donation for a fairer and more equal society.
University of Brighton

Donor Research (DR) is an award-winning National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) funded network comprising of healthcare professionals, academics and students who are predominantly from the University of Brighton and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. The team is also in partnership with experts from King’s College NHS and the Universities of Bedfordshire, Stirling and Northumbria.

DR was founded in 2020 because they recognised that undergraduate students and healthcare professionals new to academia have limited opportunities to join research teams where they could work on innovative solutions to tackle the organ and blood shortage in the UK. There are 6,260 people waiting for a transplant, and more than 6,000 blood donations are needed every day to treat patients in England. DR was established to advance, support and shape their community's awareness of blood and organ donation for a fairer and more equal society. Students are recruited to join the team as Champions and become equal learning partners alongside academics. Their transformational working practices are underpinned by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) co-production principles that promote innovation, inclusivity and sustainable growth.

They foster an environment of respect, trust and open communication while providing the necessary resources and support to ensure success. All members contribute to the integration of knowledge from the differing healthcare disciplines to create a holistic perspective when co-designing, co-delivering and co-evaluating educational events, drawing on real-world health issues that are both inclusive and interactive. Through a range of in-person workshops and debate-style learning sessions, they have had meaningful conversations with over 600 students and indirect reach of more than 20,000 students through freshers' fair events. The impact of their work in raising awareness for blood and organ donation and to increase the diversity of the donor pool in the UK is showcased on an Edublog site that has over 3000 views, and via social media campaigns that have attracted over 300 followers. Through excellence in teaching and learning, research, collaboration and leadership, they are inspiring other academics to adopt similar co-production models so more students are better equipped for professional practice and become advocates for change.

Advance HE recognises there are different views and approaches to teaching and learning, as such we encourage sharing of practice, without advocating or prescribing specific approaches. NTF and CATE awards recognise teaching excellence in a particular context. The profiles featured are self-submitted by award winners.