The most important work we undertake through our stroke research partnership is undertaken through the "Core Group" of our organisation, the central strength of our expertise and resource, hence its title, this work can be described as follows:-
- Researchers bring their research proposals to the "Core Group" for comment and input from the members of the group, who are stroke survivors and carers. Such input is based upon their own experience of stroke thus ensuring that the research projects proposed have real relevance to patient outcomes and quality of life, post stroke. Our group of members ensures that a much wider input is available to researchers when they present their research proposals to the Group. Notes of each meeting are kept and circulated so that there is a record of what transpired for reference and for the record. A formal letter is subsequently sent from the Group to every researcher who presents their research proposals to the Group. These letters record the Group's views on the proposals brought to them so that these might be considered and incorporated into the research itself.
- A further benefit that this provides is that they can also choose, if they wish to do so, to sit on "research steering groups" thereby providing input to the research activity during the lifetime of the project.
- We believe that the "Core Group" brings to the table; an honest, sincere, and very relevant experience, an extremely valuable contribution to stroke research, which is founded upon the virtue of our true "independence." This independence means that this expertise is available to the University of Nottingham's Stroke Researchers and we very much see our group as the place that researchers will want to bring their research ideas for comment and input. Since the original shoots of our growth that led to this strong partnership approach were first nurtured in the University of Nottingham's Stroke Research Strategy Group, it is the intention that this connection will be maintained; through our Academic Lead, who is joint chair of the group, and also sits on this committee.
- All requests for the presentation of research proposals, group member participation in trials, or to sit upon steering groups will, in the first instance, be brought to the Core Group via the Academic Lead. Each proposal brought to the Group shall in the first instance be described in lay terms, preferably on one sheet of A4 paper (and never on more than two sheets) at least two weeks in advance of scheduled Group meetings, this to be followed by a personal presentation to the Group on an agreed date and the Group will respond to the research proposal in the manner previously described above.