Leeds appoints Embedded Researcher to develop understanding and innovation across the city’s health and care workforce

Cara Gates has been appointed as Embedded Researcher/Senior Research Fellow to advance applied, system-wide research and evaluation to help the Leeds Health and Care Partnership deliver its ambition for the people of Leeds; to be a healthy and caring city for all ages, where the poorest improve their health the fastest.

The role, starting in July, will be hosted and supported within the School of Health and Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University. Cara will provide academic rigour, research and evaluation expertise to the Leeds Health and Care Academy and its partners and stakeholders, while working closely with Leeds Academic Health Partnership.


Cara has worked in research for over 10 years, specialising in qualitative research methods and projects in the fields of health inequalities, mental health, dementia, self-harm and suicide. Cara is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for FReSH START, a 5-year National Institute for Health and Care Research-funded programme which aims to implement psychological therapy in the NHS for people who self-harm. She is also an academic supervisor.

Cara will embed research and thorough evaluation procedures into the following key workstreams:

  • Digital innovation in access to careers
  • Narrowing inequalities through careers
  • Learning together across Team Leeds
  • Staff health and wellbeing

The Embedded Researcher/Senior Research Fellow role is fixed term for 24 months.

Cara said:

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Leeds Health and Care Academy as Embedded Researcher. I jumped at the chance to bring my research experience to this role, mainly because Leeds’ citywide health and care priorities are closely aligned to values that I have worked towards in the past, such as reducing inequalities. I have experience in evaluating health and care education and hope to use my creativity and prior knowledge to help make significant positive change within our city.”

Kate O’ Connell, Director of Leeds Health and Care Academy and Strategic Workforce, said:

“By building a sustainable and coherent approach to applied research and evaluation across our citywide work, we will be able to create deeper understanding, unearth new knowledge, and deliver more effective innovation for our health and care workforce in Leeds. As well as testing theories and developing a stronger evidence base, it will enable us to better inform and enhance our collaboration around workforce, leadership and learning.

“I’m personally really excited about Cara’s appointment. It marks a real step-change for our work, and how we test, innovate and evaluate across Team Leeds.”