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Government awards over £120 million for global health research

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) led the open competition for funding into research into worldwide disease and infection.

The Department of Health has announced that 33 research units and groups will receive over £120 million funding for global health research. It comes after an open research competition led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Following the success of this initial competition, a call for a second round of applications was also launched on friday, funded by £40 million from the Department of Health Official Developmental Assistance (ODA) budget.

The aim of this research is to improve the health of patients and public in low and middle-income countries. Such research is vital to protect the UK at home. Disease knows no borders, and we are continually under threat from poorly understood infections and antimicrobial resistance.

Good health is a global endeavour and the UK is a leader in this area of research and innovation.

The selected 33 successful NIHR global health research units and groups include:

  • The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in collaboration with India, The Phillipines, Colombia and Nigeria - to provide global surveillance data for bacterial pathogens through whole genome sequencing, to inform public health policy, and providing resourcing and training for local capacity
  • University of Dundee with India - a large scale clinical partnership between Scotland and India to combat diabetes through genetic epidemiology and pharmacogenetics
  • Swansea University with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Senegal, Ghana, India, Syria, West Bank - to develop effective and deliverable solutions to improve services and outcomes for patients in the treatment and prevention of burn injuries in conflict
  • University College London with Malawi, Mali, Gambia, Kenya, West Bank and South Africa - Mucosal Pathogens Research Unit addressing pneumonia, meningitis and neonatal sepsis, addressing limitations in the long-term effectiveness of existing vaccines

Health Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said:

This funding allows our universities to strengthen their research and expertise as leaders in global health research.

The UK will continue to be at the forefront of health knowledge, and it is only right that we support other nations as they improve care for patients and public.

A full list of successful projects from the first wave of funding are shown in the table below.

Details about the new call for applications

For the second wave of funding, awards of up to £2 million over 3 years are available for additional global health research groups.

The NIHR are keen to see proposals from world-leading academic groups in the UK that wish to expand into the field of global health working in partnership with researchers in developing countries. Applications close 20 October 2017.

For more information please see the NIHR website

Full list of successful projects from first wave of funding

Title Host institution Brief summary of work
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa, The University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh Our vision is to harness the combined resources of the University of Edinburgh and 9 African partners to reduce the burden of infectious diseases by strengthening health systems
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Neglected Tropical Diseases, BSMS University of Sussex A Sussex-based partnership that undertakes world class interdisciplinary research on neglected tropical diseases in African countries and rapidly translates this research into benefits for patients, families and communities
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians, Imperial College London Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine We will translate scientific discoveries and technological innovations into sustainable improvements in healthcare, to deliver improved prevention and better treatment of both diabetes and heart disease, amongst people from South Asia
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh The unit identifies sources of resilience within formal health systems and local community processes to facilitate effective provision for health priorities - particularly mental health and non-communicable disease - in situations of fragility
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery, University of Birmingham University of Birmingham The NIHR Unit on Global Surgery will develop global surgical research, relevant to low and middle-income countries, by establishing sustainable international research hubs and delivering practice changing research for better patient outcomes
NIHR Global Health Research Unit Action on Salt China (ASC), Queen Mary University of London Queen Mary University of London ASC is a NIHR-funded unit for salt reduction in China through research and public health programmes led by the Wolfson Institute, QMUL, UK and The George Institute China
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Genomic Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Establishing expertise and local research capacity in the use of whole genome sequencing in low and middle income countries to provide intelligent global surveillance of microbial pathogens and antimicrobial resistance
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Lung health and Tuberculosis Research in Africa, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Our NIHR unit aims to improve the health of children and adults in Africa through multi-disciplinary applied health research on lung health and tuberculosis
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa, King’s College London King’s College London The King’s College London NIHR unit on Health System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa will work across primary care, maternal and surgical care platforms, developing, adapting and evaluating health system strengthening interventions to enhance the processes and outcomes of evidence based care
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Diabetes Outcomes Research, University of Dundee University of Dundee This unit is a large scale Scotland/India Clinical Partnership using innovative big data and mobile technologies to provide low cost personalized medicine to combat ill health associated with diabetes
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Improving Health in Slums, The University of Warwick University of Warwick The NIHR unit is focused improving the health and welfare of people who live in slums across Africa and South Asia
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Mucosal Pathogens (MPRU), University College London University College London The MPRU is a UK and lower and middle-income country (LMIC) partnership that aims to prevent mucosal pathogens causing pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis in young children
NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE), The University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh The NIHR unit on Global Respiratory Health will work to improve respiratory outcomes from common respiratory communicable and non-communicable disorders in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Pakistan

NIHR global health research groups

Title Host institution Brief summary of work
NIHR Global Health Research Group on African Snakebite Research, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine This project will establish self-sustaining regional hubs of snakebite expertise to support national and regional authorities design and implement systems to reduce snakebite deaths and disability
NIHR Global Health Research Group on prevention and management of non-communicable diseases and HIV-infection in Africa, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine Our research group will evaluate integrated prevention and management of chronic conditions in Africa, focusing on HIV-infection, diabetes and hypertension, and on research that is relevant for policy and practice
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Improving Stroke Care, University of Central Lancashire University of Central Lancashire Our multi professional research group brings together researchers from the UK, India and Australia with expertise and interest in the addressing the Global Health Challenge of stroke
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Early Childhood Development for Peacebuilding, Queen’s University of Belfast The Queen’s University of Belfast This group supports the development and rigorous evaluation of early childhood development programmes to contribute to sustainable development and peacebuilding in lower and middle income countries affected by conflict
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Nepal Injury Research, University of the West of England BristolUniversity of the West of England Preventing injuries, making communities safer and improving injury outcomes in Nepal through collaborative research, surveillance, innovation, training, capacity building and policy development
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma, University of Cambridge University of Cambridge / Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust The NIHR Group on Global Neurotrauma is a multi-institutional consortium of partners from LMICs and HICs with a mission to advance global neurotrauma care and research in order to save lives, reduce disability and improve the quality of life for patients with traumatic brain injury
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global COPD in Primary Care, University of Birmingham University of Birmingham Fostering research in primary care and the community to improve the diagnosis, management and prognosis of COPD patients in low and middle income countries
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Social Policy and Health Inequalities led by the University of Glasgow The University Court of the University of Glasgow We are working to improve population health in Brazil by studying the social determinants of health and to further our understanding of how social policy may reduce health inequalities globally
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Burn Trauma, Swansea University Swansea University A unique collaboration between university and international NGO that will work towards transforming the standard of burn care and prevention in some of the poorest regions of the world using a systems based approach backed by implementation science
NIHR Global Health Research Group on warfarin anticoagulation in patients with cardiovascular disease in Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Liverpool University of Liverpool Anticoagulation with warfarin is an important area of unmet medical need. Our group aims to improve anticoagulation by developing dosing algorithms, and further improve anticoagulation quality by using novel technological advances
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global Surgical Technologies, University of Leeds University of Leeds The NIHR Group on Global Surgical Technologies will identify areas of surgical need in India and Sierra Leone and develop and evaluate new technological solutions
NIHR Global Health Research Group on POsT Conflict Trauma; PrOTeCT, Imperial College London Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine As a result of this funding, the group will be enabled to improve the health and wellbeing of civilians afflicted by blast injuries, significantly reduce the socio-economic burden of explosive remnants of war in the developing world, develop a research and innovation hub for orthopaedic, trauma and biomaterials researchers, engineers and clinicians and advance the UK’s understanding of biomaterials and orthopaedic technology
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Psychosis Outcomes: the Warwick¬India-Canada (WIC) Network, The University of Warwick University of Warwick The NIHR Group on Psychosis Outcomes: Warwick-India-Canada (WIC) Network is a group of international experts in global mental health who aim improve outcomes of psychotic disorders in India, harnessing the potential of digital and mobile technologies
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Evidence to Policy pathway to Immunisation in China (NIHR EPIC), London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine We conduct applied vaccine research to help decision makers in China build a vaccination programme that ensures reliable, affordable, equitable and uninterrupted supply of vaccines to the Chinese population
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Stillbirth Prevention and Management in Sub-Saharan Africa, The University of Manchester The University of Manchester The University of Manchester, in partnership with the Lugina Africa Midwives Research Network, will undertake high quality research on the prevention and management of stillbirth in sub-Saharan Africa
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Road Safety, University of Southampton University of Southampton The goal of our NIHR Group on Global Road Safety is to reduce the number and severity of road accidents in Low-Middle Income Countries through our underpinning philosophy of local solutions for local problems
NIHR Global Health Group on Dementia Prevention and Enhanced Care (DePEC), Newcastle University Newcastle University Dementia, a global health priority, has a disproportionately large impact in low and middle income countries (LMICs). In the absence of a cure, and without a future risk reduction strategy and efficient, feasible post-diagnostic care, dementia will have a devastating societal and economic effect in LMICs. We will bring together expertise in public health and primary care with global epidemiological research (large LMIC dementia research collaboration, 10/66 Study), to create a NIHR Global Health Research Group on Dementia Prevention and Enhanced Care (DePEC)
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Global Health Econometrics and Economics (GHE2), University of York The University of York GHE2 will address the evidence gap in population- and health system-level interventions by applying and developing methods to (1) estimate their average and distributional impact and (2) assess their value-for-money
NIHR Global Health Research Group on developing psycho-social interventions for mental health care, Bart’s and The London School of Medicine & Dentistry Barts & The London Queen Mary’s School of Medicine & Dentistry In collaboration with partners in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia and Uganda, our group will develop psycho-social interventions for people with severe mental illnesses, utilising existing resources in communities
NIHR Global Health Research Group on Diet and Activity Research at MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit The goal of the NIHR group on Global Diet and Activity Research (GDAR) is to understand the determinants of population levels of diet and activity behaviour in low and middle income countries and to evaluate population-level interventions aimed at changing these behaviours in order to reduce risk of non-communicable disease

 

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