Knowledge Hub / Ongoing Research Projects

Ongoing Research Projects

1. Barnardo’s: Understanding the family support needs of veteran offenders, their families and children.



Researcher’s name: Leonie Harvey-Rolfe, Barnardo’s NICCO (National Information Centre for Children of Offenders)

Who can participate? UK Armed Forces veterans who have served prison sentences who are fathers.

Outline of project: Exploring what support ex-military personnel in prison and their families need during and after their sentence. How do prison sentences impact on veterans and their families? What helps veterans to stay connected to their families while they are in custody? Who currently provides support to veterans and their families? The information shared will help to shape services of the future to ensure that the support veterans and their families need is available at the time that they need it.

Contact email: 

Contact number: 07702011050


2. UWE/ Scar Free Foundation: Understanding Needs and Interventions for the Treatment of Scarring (UNITS): The Psychosocial impact of conflict-related disfigurement

UWE/Scar Free Foundation Logo

Researcher’s name
: Professor Di Harcourt, University of West England, Bristol

Who can participate? UK veterans who have sustained an appearance-altering injury during operations or training since 1969, and their spouse/partner.

Outline of project: This project is funded by the Scar Free Foundation ( and aims to examine the experiences of military personnel/veterans and their families, who sustained an appearance-altering injury during operational deployment or field training any time since 1969. This research will provide insight into the appearance-related concerns of those affected by conflict-related appearance-altering injuries and their psychological impact, determine their support needs, and ascertain how these might differ from the experiences and needs of those whose visible difference is unrelated to military conflict.

Contact email: TBC

Contact number: TBC



3. The Advance Study

Advance Study Logo

Researcher's name:
Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court/Stanford Hall

University: King's College London, Imperial College London and Bournemouth University

Co-ordinator's name: Group Captain Alex Bennett

Who can participate? Male UK Armed Forces Personnel aged under 50 when deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan who were aeromedically evacuated from theatre directly to a UK hospital

Outline of project: The study, funded by Help for Heroes and the Ministry of Defence, is to investigate the long term health and welfare outcomes of battlefield trauma casualties and to compare these outcomes to those of a similar group of non-battlefield trauma individuals.

The outcomes being investigated include medical (cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis) and psychosocial outcomes. There is some evidence to suggest that battlefield trauma casualties may have some unfavourable outcomes but this evidence is limited and often covers shorter periods of time. Also, the types of injuries sustained in previous conflicts are different from those sustained in recent conflicts and therefore it is still unclear whether or how the type of injuries we are seeing from Afghanistan and Iraq will affect the long-term outcome of injured servicemen.

Participation will involve the following:

  • A baseline visit to DMRC Headley Court or Stanford Hall. In some cases this may be very soon after injury, in others it may be a few years after injury.

  • Subsequent follow-up visits to DMRC Stanford Hall, occurring 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years after the first visit.

Each visit will include the following assessments, which will last approximately 4-5 hours each:

  • Brief personal history including information on injuries and social circumstances

  • Basic medical examination including blood pressure and resting heart rate

  • Questionnaires covering things including mobility, pain and quality of life

  • Blood tests for things including cholesterol, kidney and liver function, blood sugar levels for diabetes

  • Urine test

  • Imaging including x-rays of hips and knees

  • Other assessments including the distance you can walk in 6 minutes and a basic lung function test.

“Taking part in the Advance Study means a lot to me, it feels like people actually care. I think people do understand (some of the needs of injured Veterans) but that there’s a lot still to learn,” says John.

Staff Sergeant Craig Davis is also taking part, as part of the control group, which allows the research teams to identify what hidden, long-term damage the wounded body might have sustained.  Keen to do something to help those less fortunate than him, Craig has given up some of his Leave and flown over from Germany to support the study.

“I’m taking part not only to understand what my own body has been through in during 17 years of army service but also to help the team gather knowledge that will hopefully improve (the lives of those injured). I feel privileged to be taking part,” he says.

When our Heroes sign up to the Armed Forces, they make a promise to protect our country. In return, we make a commitment to support the wounded and their families, whenever they need us. Together, we can give them one less battle to fight.

Contact /

Contact number: 01509 251500, ext 3408


Deadline for participants to apply:  2019