Interdisciplinary funding opportunity

Money available to prevent disease.

Interdisciplinary research teams are being called on to apply for part of a £50 million fund to explore the prevention of non-communicable diseases. The UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP), comprising the Medical Research Council, the NHS, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Cancer Research UK and others, aims to create new approaches to tackling such diseases, improving the health of the population as a whole and reducing health inequality.

The UKPRP presents itself as a new model of public health funding that will encourage interdisciplinary research teams to develop, implement and evaluate these preventative approaches. It states that any funded research should be co-produced with policy-makers, practitioners, health providers, the third sector and the public. It is looking for projects that will tackle so-called ‘upstream’ determinants of non-communicable diseases, including the built and natural environment, employment, education, welfare, transport, health and social care, and local and central government policies. The partnership will cover physical health as well as mental health and wellbeing.

Initially the UKPRP will fund two types of project – consortium and network awards. The consortium awards will provide £4 to £7 million for five years for novel groups of partners – including businesses where appropriate. The groups should represent a range of academic disciplines and undertake interdisciplinary research addressing a specific challenge in the primary prevention of non-communicable diseases. They should also involve users (i.e. policy-makers, practitioners and the public) in their research strategies. The UKPRP said: ‘The thinking behind consortia is that drawing together teams of experts from different disciplines and sectors, and including users, should enable researchers to capitalise on a range of expertise to develop novel research into high-quality interventions that can deliver change at a population level.’ Network awards will provide £100,000 a year for up to four years to successful groups. Networks will consist of a community of researchers and users addressing a broad prevention research challenge.  

To apply for funding see tinyurl.com/yau3smxa. Applications close on 18 January 2018 at 4pm.

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