Rehabilitation networks


Professor Ruth Goodridge was awarded £11,000 from the University of Nottingham National Rehabilitation Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences strategic funds via an open call held in March 2022 to fund the following activities:

  • Establish a UoN network of researchers, academics, and technicians with an interest in developing innovative technologies to accelerate and improve rehabilitation.
  • Organise a 1-day workshop to encourage new multidisciplinary partnerships, focusing on outlining one or more funding proposals on closed loop wearable rehabilitation devices.
  • Identify and liaise with healthcare and community partners to establish Open-sourced Assistive Devices (OPAD) projects for staff groups, with the expectation that this leads to REF impact studies and future research proposals.
  • Write a business case for alumni donors to support OPAD.

Activities completed

From 1 April to 31 July 2022, the following activities were completed:

  • Promotion and advertising of a University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) ‘Special Interest Group for Rehabilitation Technologies’ aligned to the NRC.
  • Survey of interested parties to understand:o Area of expertise/interest relevant to the NRCo PhD project ideaso Ideas for laboratory facilities to be included at the NRCo Interest in attending a research networking session on 1 July 2022
  • Research networking event for UoN and NUH researchers held at The Nottingham Belfry Hotel on Friday 1 July 2022.
  • UoN researchers have been emailed about the opportunity to be involved with OPAD activities for the new 22/23 academic year. The introduction meeting is to be held on 20 September 2022.

Main outcomes


The survey was completed by 35 UoN and NUH colleagues, the outputs were shared with the NRC Project Manager and included:

  • 21 suggestions for possible PhD projects aligned to the NRC.
  • 24 suggestions for NRC laboratory facilities.
  • 28 colleagues interested in attending a networking event.
  • 33 colleagues agreeing to be added to NRC rehabilitation technologies mailing list.

Networking event

An event was held at The Nottingham Belfry on Friday 1 July 2022.

The 23 Attendees were given the opportunity to network and discuss potential unmet needs and solutions in the area of rehabilitation technology. A number of connections were made which have already resulted in research collaborations. These include:

  • Dr Michael Craven (UoN) and Dr Paula Almeida (UoN) resulting in a feasibility funding application to the EPSRC Rehabilitation Technologies Network+ grant in September 2022.
  • Dr Samuel Smith (UoN), Dr Alison Cowley (UoN/NUH) and Dr Vicky Booth (UoN/NUH) resulting in a possible NIHR RFPB grant for early 2023.
  • Dr Alison Cowley (UoN/NUH) and Prof Praminda Caleb-Solly. AI, technology and walking frames, early stages and currently identifying funding streams.

Those who attended the event and agreed to be part of the mailing list will now be added to the growing list of researchers interested in the area of rehabilitation technologies marketed through the Rehabilitation Technologies website.

Future plans

Over the next 12 months we aim to:

  • Continue to encourage researchers, from within UoN and wider, who are not currently working in the field of rehabilitation research to join our network.
  • Increase the network and seniority of researchers involved in OPAD, thus increasing the complexity and scope of challenges related to the NRC. The first meeting will be held on 20 September 2022.
  • Complete a business case for alumni support for OPAD.