NHS Research Scotland (NRS) Hepatology Specialty Group

Our role is to support the delivery of high quality clinical research in Hepatology and manage participant recruitment to time and target, both for Hepatology studies which are led from Scotland, and studies led from other nations which Scottish sites are participating in. The group is also determine to cross outside its statutory remit to work with the SSG, academics and NHS clinicians across Scotland to develop hepatology research in all its forms. We provide support in the following areas:

• Managing the study portfolio record
• Monitoring the attainment of recruitment targets
• Providing advice on study design and feasibility
• Troubleshooting issues with poor recruitment
• Sharing information on new studies
• Identifying potential sites for studies
• Facilitating access to resource to support research, for example through Clinical Research Facility (CRF) Research Nurses.



SHARP was established in early 2023 having been successful in being awarded NIHR research partnership funding. This is a new initiative from the NIHR which is aimed at supporting research in areas of high disease prevalence but historically low research activity. SHARP is the first NIHR-funded Hepatology project based solely in Scotland and has established a multidisciplinary national network to address the issues around limited access and unmet clinical need in remote/rural and urban populations. It is led by Dr Ruairi Lynch from Dundee and Prof Ewan Forrest from Glasgow. However the partnership has brought together hepatology, primary care, public health, social services through the Alcohol and Drug Partnerships and patient organisations such as the British Liver Trust.



This will inform the THREE other work streams:

  1. INNOVATION IN DISEASE ASSESSMENT: looking into point of care testing: to allow easier screening for and monitoring of liver disease for isolated patients.
  2. DETECTION OF THOSE AT RISK OF LIVER DISEASE: identifying those at high risk of a liver-related health event in the next 5-10 years using artificial intelligence.
  3. QUALITATIVE UNDERSTANDING OF POOR ENGAGEMENT: learning to understand those who struggle to engage with liver services and recognising the barrier that exist

SHARP website: Scottish Hepatology Access Research Partnership | NHS Research Scotland | NHS Research Scotland


Hepatology Studies

The Hepatology Specialty Group oversees research that deals with the diagnosis and management of patients with diseases of the liver, biliary tree, and pancreas. Topics of Hepatology research active in Scotland at present include:

  • Acute and chronic liver disease including liver failure
  • Assessment of Liver fibrosis and cirrhosis
  • Assessment and Treatment of portal hypertension
  • Biomarkers of liver disease and disease monitoring
  • Alcohol-related liver disease



PIs to Contact



Opportunities exist to participate in ‘portfolio’ studies as an Associate Principal Investigator:



Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Glasgow Royal infirmary

Michael Miller: Michael.miller1@nhs.scot

Ashis Mukhopadhya: ashis.mukhopadhya@nhs.scot

Adrian Stanley: Adrian.Stanley@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Open until May 2024


Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Glasgow (QEUH and GRI)

Hairmyres Hospital

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Ashis Mukhopadhya: ashis.mukhopadhya@nhs.scot

Fiona Finlay: fiona.finlay@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Natasha McDonald: Natasha.McDonald@Lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk

Mhairi Donnelly: mhairi.donnelly3@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk



QEUH, Glasgow


Rachael Swann: Rachael.Swann@ggc.scot,nhs.uk

Ruairi Lynch: RuairiJynch2@scot.nhs.uk

Just getting started


QEUH, Glasgow

Matthew Priest: matthew.priest@xggc.scot.nhs.uk

In set up


Glasgow Royal infirmary

Ewan Forrest: ewan.forrest@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Not started yet…


Glasgow QEUH

Glasgow Royal infirmary

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

Jude Morris: Jude.Morris2@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Adrian Stanley: Adrian.Stanley@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Peter Hayes: Peter.Hayes@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

In set up


Glasgow Royal Infirmary

Ewan Forrest: ewan.forrest@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

In set up


Glasgow Royal infirmary

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Stephen Barclay: Stephen.Barclay@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Ashis Mukhopadhya: ashis.mukhopadhya@nhs.scot




Associate PI Course - 8 April 2024, 14:30 - 15:30, via MS Teams



Hepatology Research Meetings

Quarterly meetings of those interested in Hepatology Research in Scotland are held on Teams. In addition face-to-face meetings are held often as early morning breakfast meetings at the time of the SSG meetings.

For further information on the Specialty Group or information on upcoming events, please contact  


ARMS Hub Mentorship Programme

Are you a healthcare professional working in Alcohol-related Liver Disease and want to enhance your skills and broaden your network? Join our Mentorship programme in January 2024!

We will match you with a Mentor who is an expert in the area you are looking to upskill. Mentorship opportunities will range from supporting HCPs in applying for research funding to experienced researchers leading a multicentre trial. Mentors/ Mentees will be provided resources and training in Mentorship and a long-term relationship will be supported.

Register your interest below:
To volunter as a Mentor https://forms.gle/ARoaZHHLbfNdT97c8.
To sign up as a Mentee https://forms.gle/z4H2LcJUa9uZvWFi9.

If you have any questions feel free to get in touch at arms.hub@nhs.net.



Research Funding Opportunities in Scotland

There are several funding opportunities to support those interested in getting more involved in Liver Research in Scotland. Contact the Hepatology Research Speciality Group for further details or support.

  • Clinical Academic Fellowships: likely next call October 2024
    • To build research capacity in the Scottish NHS: opportunity for clinical professionals (doctors, dentists, NMAHPs) early in their career to undertake a PhD.
    • All research funded as part of this training award must fall with CSO’s overall remit of early translational (experimental medicine), clinical and applied health research and social care. The proposals must have clear potential for directly benefiting patients/service users, carers and the public in Scotland.
    • For Medical and Dental Specialists: applicants are required to hold a Scottish NTN. Successful applicants who are in training will remain on current salary scales and progress as normal for the duration of the award. (includes Public Health trainees who do not have a medical degree).
    • The time out of training for research needs to be agreed by your postgraduate dean. Not normally be agreed if trainee has not completed at least one year of training or are in their final training year.
    • LINK: Clinical Academic Fellowships – Chief Scientist Office (scot.nhs.uk)
  • Innovation Academic Fellowships: likely next call October 2024
    • Targeted at early stage innovators working within NHS Scotland. It provides the opportunity for clinicians early in their career to undertake a higher degree (MD or PhD). The scheme is 100% funded, including university fees.
    • Applicants to demonstrate the ability to engage with partners to develop products, services or devices, creating the evidence to support decision-making for adoption within NHS Scotland
    • There will be up to 3 places available across Scotland
    • Project in one of three themes that align with the Demand Signalling Plan, the NHS Scotland Recovery Plan and approved by the Chief Scientist for Health:
      • 1. Innovation in Cancer Pathways
      • 2. Innovation for Long Term Conditions Optimisation
      • 3. Innovation for Long Term Conditions Diagnostics
    • Projects should also seek to address the current Chief Medical Officer priority areas of inequality, sustainability and workforce challenges.
    • LINK: CSO Innovation Academic Fellowships – Chief Scientist Office (scot.nhs.uk)
  • NHS Researcher Development Fellowship
    • Introductory fellowship aimed at NHS employees currently working as a Nurse, Midwife, allied health professional, pharmacist, healthcare scientist or other in a clinical role to enable them to explore research as part of their existing NHS role.
    • Participation in a research study and receiving mentorship and support, or for candidates who already have some research experience as a way to develop additional skills, time and mentorship to develop a competitive PhD fellowship application.
    • An opportunity for currently active and experienced NHS researchers to engage as mentors and support health professionals to develop and experience research.
    • The fellowship will pay for 13 days of time which can be used flexibly but is agreed between the service, mentor and fellow in the 1 year period from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.
    • Open for applications – deadline – Wednesday 31 Jan 24
    • LINK: CSO NHS Researcher Development Fellowship – Chief Scientist Office (scot.nhs.uk)
  • NES/CSO Postdoctoral Clinical Lectureships
    • The posts will have 50% protected academic time and are available until the CCT.
    • To apply candidates must:
      • Have completed a PhD or MD – Candidates must have submitted by the application deadline and have been awarded the degree before they take up post. 
      • Be in a speciality registrar in training with a Scottish NTN number
      • Find a University supervisor and write a research proposal
      • Have written commitment from the appropriate Deanery office and the NHS employer that a clinical academic lectureship position will be supported, agreeing the required time commitments for clinical practice, research and teaching and reviewing the CCT date.
    • Open for applications – deadline – Wednesday 31 Jan 24
    • LINK: Joint NES/CSO Postdoctoral Clinical Lectureships – Chief Scientist Office (scot.nhs.uk)
  • NRS Career Researcher Fellowships
    • Next call: likely November 2024
    • provides funding for protected time (2 sessions) to contribute to, conduct and lead clinical research
    • Consultants
      • Must be in receipt of their CCT
      • Must have been in post as a substantive consultant for less than 6 years FTE as of March 2024
      • Must not currently have research sessions paid for by any other means.
    • Applications will be assessed using the following criteria:
      • The quality of the individual and of the mentor arrangements
      • The quality of the proposed research or development projects/activities. It is envisaged that many individuals will, at least to begin with, be working to support existing high-quality research rather than starting new small projects/activities.
      • Alignment of the proposals to areas of existing research excellence and national priorities OR evidence of a need to develop capacity in an importance ‘orphan’ area
      • The proposed involvement in commercially funded research
      • Commitment of the relevant NHS Board and clinical department towards the project / activities

LINK: NRS Career Researcher Fellowships – Chief Scientist Office (scot.nhs.uk)


Patient, carer and public information

NHS Research Scotland is committed to actively involving patients, those who care for them and the public in all aspects of the research process, including shaping future research activity. Read more

We are particularly keen that patients participate in the SHARE programme which supports relevant medical research in Scotland: Sign Up for Future Research | NHS Research Scotland | NHS Research Scotland


Key Contacts

Specialty Lead: Professor Ewan Forrest - Ewan.forrest@ggc.scot.nhs.uk
Performance Manager: Sarah Kennedy - sarah.kennedy17@nhs.net

NHS Research Scotland Hepatology Website: - http://www.nhsresearchscotland.org.uk/research-areas/hepatology


Patient Survey - British Liver Trust

Please see the below survey results from the Patient Survey.