We take an interdisciplinary approach to our research and work across organisational boundaries with practitioners, those with lived experience as well as the third sector. 

Our team are currently working on two NIHR funded projects:

REalist Synthesis Of non-pharmacologicaL interVEntions for antipsychotic-induced weight gain (RESOLVE) in people living with Severe Mental Illness and a follow on project, RESOLVE 2, which aims to explore how and why social care practitioners (SCP) engage (or not) with research activity.

Both projects use a realist approach; a new and emerging method of generating primary data and evidence review that allows us to further our understanding of complex interventions.

The team have recently finished the MEDIATE (Medication optimisation in severe mental illness) study. This also used a realist approach and was recently published.

We also have a easy-to-read summary of MEDIATE, a booklet containing brief information on the study.

As a team, we hope to use our expertise in pharmacy, healthcare and psychology to conduct research that will lead to an improvement in patient health outcomes.

Professor Maidment's work on medication management in older people has had impact in the real world and forms the basis for a REF impact case study. For further information please visit our research impact page.

Professor Maidment is continuing to work in this area in particular building on the MEMORABLE study. Read the final MEMORABLE report. There is also a brief NIHR Alert which summarises MEMORABLE.

Specific projects, building on from MEMORABLE, include a PhD (started in May 2023) looking at the challenges in older people from minority ethnic communities. For more information on this work, please email the student: Nesrein Hamed.  

For more information, in general, on this work in medication optimisation in older people please email Professor Ian Maidment.

People and publications

Public and Partner Groups

We are working in collaboration with key partner groups: 

NHS - via collaboration with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. 

Third sector organisations - via collaboration with The McPin Foundation. 

Research team

Professor Ian MaidmentChief Investigator

Ian is an Academic Clinical Pharmacist currently leading two NIHR-funded research projects MEDIATE & RESOLVE. Prior to moving to academia, he spent nearly 25 years in practice mainly within mental health services.


Dr Jo Howe: Research Associate

Jo is a healthcare researcher with a background in Neuropsychology. Specialist areas of interest include mental health, stroke, acquired brain injury, realist methodology and implementation science. Jo runs a website aimed at realist researchers.


Hafsah Habib: Research Assistant

Hafsah is a Pharmacist currently working on the RESOLVE research study as well as leading on a project exploring how people with severe mental illness use social media to discuss their antipsychotic medication. She is also involved in research impact and dissemination. 


Dr Gurkiran Birdi: Research Associate

Gurkiran is a healthcare researcher with a background in Health Psychology. Her PhD explored atopic dermatitis and its impact on quality of life and mental well-being in adults (completed in 2020)


Nesrein Hamed

Nesrein started her PhD in April 2023, and the general aim of her research is to explore the challenges related to medicines optimisation in ethnic minority elders in primary care settings using realist evaluation. Before commencing her PhD studies, Nesrein completed her Master of Pharmacy at the University of Bradford and then she qualified as a pharmacist with the GPhC. 

Aston Explorer

Upcoming projects

INTEGRATE: INdependenT prEscribinG in community phaRmAcy; whaT works for whom, why and in what circumstancEs. The targeted start date for INTEGRATE is 01.03.24 

INTEGRATE funding award 

INTEGRATE prospero protocol 


Current Projects

RESOLVE 2:  a follow-on project from RESOLVE exploring facilitators and barriers to research engagement by and with Social Care Practitioners (SCPs) and using RESOLVE as an exemplar, aims to understand how researchers can ensure that relevant healthcare research is taken up and utilised by SCPs. Click here to find out more:

Browse the Registry - Research Registry 

RESOLVE: REalist Synthesis Of non-pharmacologicaL interVEntions for antipsychotic-induced weight gain (RESOLVE) in people living with Severe Mental Illness (SMI).

More information 


Previous Projects

MEDIATE: MEDIcation optimisATion in severE mental illness.

MEDIATE protocol

MEDIATE results

Summary booklet for MEDIATE

MEMORABLE: Medication management in older people: the MEMORABLE realist synthesis - visit our website for more information

PERISCOPE: Rapid realist review of the role of community pharmacy in the public health response to COVID-19 - visit our website for more information 

All previous projects can be accessed via Aston explorer