Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit
The University of Nottingham
University of Nottingham

Global Health Research

We have an expanding portfolio of global health studies, particularly focusing on low and middle income countries (LMICs) and neonatal care.  Studies to date have included:

The iCord study - an observational study investigating care at the time of term and preterm birth in five hospitals in India, Pakistan, Kenya and Uganda.  This study was funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC).  Link to publication:

The Born too soon portfolio of studies:

In 2018, our team were awarded two grants from the University of Nottingham Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) to undertake feasibility work in developing an Early Warning Score system for babies "born too soon" (before 37 weeks). We conducted an observational study, collecting data on 294 infants over an 8-week period to understand current practice in essential newborn care, and a qualitative study.  The qualitative study involved focus groups involving 19 mothers and families of preterm infants and 20 stakeholders in a variety of roles, all involved in the care of or commissioning of healthcare for preterm infants, to understand the barriers and facilitators to providing essential newborn care.  Both parts of the study were conducted at the Kenyatta National Referral Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, with collaborators who co-developed the project.  The study culminated in a stakeholder meeting, hosted by the Ministry of Health in Kenya and the Kenya Paediatric Research Consortium (KEPRECON) to discuss how an early warning score system could be useful to monitor preterm infants more closely in the future.

The video here explains a little more about the project:


Part of this work is now published in BMJ Open:  The qualitative study is currently in submission.

NEWS-K Study (Neonatal early warning signs in Kenya):

Building upon the feasbility work undertaken (above), the MRC have funded a further feasibility study of early warning signs in Kenya.  The study is currently in progress.  An early warning score will be implemented in three hospital neonatal units in Kenya.  An observational study will be conducted to assess whether it is feasible to complete the early warning score and whether actions on the early warning score are followed.  A qualitative study will also be conducted to understand the barriers and facilitators of using an early warning score; mothers and healthcare professionals will be interviewed.  Depending upon the outcome of this work, the aim is to then conduct a clinical trial to determine whether clinical outcomes improve in preterm infants with the use of an early warning score.

Born too soon: Optimising Nutrition:

We are currently running a 12-month project in Nairobi, Kenya and Varanasi, India to undertake a feasiblity study for a randomised controlled trial investigating feeding strategies for preterm infants.  The longer term aim of this feasibility work is to undertake a clinical trial similar to the UK-based FEED-1 trial.  In addition, this project involves a methodological piece of work to consider how best we can train healthcare professionals and researchers in LMICs to undertake research.

This portfolio is being led by Eleanor Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Clinical Trials, and Dr Shalini Ojha, Clinical Associate Professor in Neonatal Medicine in the School of Medicine.  Other members of the team include Jane Daniels, Professor of Clinical TrialsDr Phoebe Pallotti, Associate Professor of Midwifery and Mary Oliver, Associate Professor of Science Education at the University of Nottingham.

For further information about our portfolio of global health work please contact  You can also follow the team's work on Twitter @Born2SoonGlobal


Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit

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