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Evidence Synthesis Team

The Evidence Synthesis Team (EST) sits within ESMI and is a workstream within PenARC - the NIHR ARC for the South West Peninsula. PenARC is a partnership between the University of Exeter Medical School, Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry (PUPSMD), and health service organisations throughout Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

PenARC's main aim is to improve health outcomes for patients and the public through the conduct and translation of patient-focused research. To do this PenARC promotes a partnership between the NHS and academia that will lead to engagement and involvement in research that reflects real clinical concerns.

What we do

Within the ESMI research group, the Evidence Synthesis Team (EST) supports PenARC's objectives through four sets of activities:

  • by supporting PenARC's prioritisation processes
  • by undertaking evidence synthesis research to address priority questions where primary research evidence exists; or through using evidence and local data to explore potential new ways of organising services (operational research)
  • by supporting applications for external funding to support new research to resolve PenARC's priority questions and to support the evaluation of implementation activities with the NHS, and
  • by developing capacity, through provision of clinics and workshops, for others to undertake evidence-based research.

Current activity

To view the extensive range of reviews that we are currently working on or have previously led or been involved with, please visit the PenARC website or read the Evidence Synthesis Team blog

As well as reviews, we run a seminar series to help researchers communicate their research more creatively (#creativecomms) - find out more on the Creative Communication webpage

Searching and Review Clinics

The EST run twice monthly ‘search and review’ clinics to provide advice on systematic review methods. Whether you are an academic or an NHS professional who needs to know where to start on the systematic review process or how to go about designing a search strategy, you can book an appointment with one of our reviewers or information specialists. For how to book, see here:

Contact us

You can contact us by email at You can also follow us on Twitter @EvidSynthTeam and read our blog.
For further information about PenARC please visit:

The team

Workstream Lead: Jo Thompson-Coon
Executive Lead: Ken Stein
Team:     Rebecca Abbott (Senior Research Fellow)
Alison Bethel (Information Specialist)
Noreen Orr (Research Fellow)
Morwenna Rogers (Information Specialist)
Becky Whear (Research Fellow)