Joe Schofield

Joe is currently National Research Coordinator for the Drugs Research Network Scotland, funded by Scottish Government to develop collaborative research, knowledge exchange, impact maximisation and researcher development activities.  He is based at the University of Stirling where he is in the final year of a Master of Public Health course.

He previously received a first-class BA(Hons.) from Nottingham Trent University where he studied critical social theory and psychology.  He spent 22 years working in Public Health focussing on blood-borne viruses and sexual health.  He has worked for outreach health promotion services, the Pan-London HIV and GUM Commissioning Consortium, and the World Health Organisation.

His research interests include the epidemiology of harms associated with drug use, the meaningful involvement of people with lived/living experience, and patient outcomes.  Joe has been awarded a place to study for a PhD at the University of Stirling to explore the spatial and temporal aspects of drug-related death epidemiology.

Developing national research infrastructure and activity: the role of a new drugs research network

Presentation link: Developing national research infrastructure and activity: the role of a new drugs research network

To describe the activities, outputs and outcomes of a new, national drugs research network.


Universities and other organisations across Scotland

Academics across Scotland and internationally in partnership with key stakeholders including: people with lived/living experience of drug use, policy makers, technical experts, service planners and providers.

Provision of a dedicated resource (core team, steering committee and network funding) to support the development of multi-agency, interdisciplinary drugs research collaborations.

1) Network development and collaborations
2) Bids developed and funding secured
3) Knowledge exchange activities and reach
4) Indicators of impact

Measures are currently being collated for our annual report and will be quantified and presented in the poster.

Findings and conclusions
With appropriate funding and governance, a new research network can support the development of new and effective inter-agency partnerships that result in research and associated activities that address identified national priorities.

These collaborations strengthen relationships and activity across Scotland and internationally.

With central support, the meaningful involvement of people with lived/living experience of drug use can be enhanced and normalised.

Challenges include the fit between research delivery timelines and the commissioning cycle; alignment of academic interests and network research themes; the limited number of established academics able to lead on projects and bids; and achieving financial sustainability.