Health Research Authority Chief Executive, Teresa Allen, has announced she will be stepping down from her role at the end of 2020.
Teresa joined the HRA in 2016 on secondment from NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) as Deputy Chief Executive. She took on the Chief Executive role on an interim basis until she was appointed as the substantive Chief Executive in July 2018.
Teresa is passionate about the role that research plays in improving the lives of patients and the public, and the invaluable role that volunteers in the research ethics committees and other expert groups play in protecting the interests of patients and the public. A strong advocate for high quality research, she has championed public involvement and greater transparency in health and social care research.
Teresa has led the organisation through a period of continuous improvement, working with partners to make changes to HRA services that meet researchers’ needs. Under her leadership, we have introduced new tools which make it easier to access HRA services, including the first module in the replacement of its systems used to submit research applications. Research approval timelines for a range of studies including clinical trial applications have been shortened and more recently the whole of the HRA and its volunteer workforce have responded to the pandemic by approving COVID-19 research and publishing summary information within 10 days.
Reflecting on her time at the HRA, Teresa said:
Teresa Allen, Chief Executive
'I am proud of each and every member of staff and every volunteer that I have had the privilege to work with at the HRA. There is a real and tangible desire to deliver the best experience and the best customer service.
'I have now worked for the NHS for over 41 years and it will be difficult to leave such a great team, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my husband, seeing more of my friends and getting involved in new ventures.
'Whoever is fortunate enough to take on the role of CEO at the HRA, they will be joining the organisation at an exciting time as we still have plenty of things that we want to achieve.'
Chair of the HRA, Professor Sir Terence Stephenson, said:
HRA Chair, Professor Sir Terence Stephenson
'It’s been my pleasure and privilege to work with Teresa over the past year. She has made a huge contribution - to the HRA, the wider research environment and the NHS – and we will miss her very much.
'We are now starting the process of finding someone of Teresa’s calibre to take over the leadership of the HRA from 2021 onwards.'