Climate change and sustainability
Climate change is a major challenge to public health which risks increasing health inequalities. As the nation’s largest funder of health and care research, we recognise the key role we must play in driving and promoting ‘net zero’.
We welcome the NHS's national ambition to become the ‘world’s first net zero health service’. We are committed to supporting the NHS in achieving this by funding world-class research and innovation. Our research can help deliver low carbon, sustainable and resilient health and care systems.
Sustainable health and care
Across the NIHR, we are already investing in research and innovation to support these goals. This includes our funding call for research proposals on ‘Delivering a Sustainable Health and Care System’. The evidence produced will support practical, real-world solutions for health and care systems.
As well as UK-based research, we will fund research through our Global Health programme to improve the health outcomes of people in low-to-middle-income countries affected by climate change.
We are appointing to a new role of NIHR Head of Sustainability to develop and implement this strategically important area of work.
View our guidance and resources for those apply for NIHR funding.
Current funding opportunities
- Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation call (closes 29 June 2022)
- Delivering a Sustainable Health and Care System Themed Call for NIHR domestic programmes
- James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership on Greener Operations: Sustainable Peri-Operative Practice
NHS Health Research Authority environmental sustainability strategy
The NHS Health Research Authority (HRA) is an important partner in UK health and care research. Its environmental sustainability strategy: Making environmental sustainability the norm, outlines ways to meet the challenges of climate change.
The strategy sets out plans to become a carbon net zero organisation by 2050. It includes commitments to sustainable changes the HRA will make internally and explores ways to encourage changes externally.
It further commits to a three-year plan to work and consult with partners, including NIHR, on how we can reduce the impact of the wider research lifecycle on the planet.