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Collaborating in applied health research

The NIHR funds local collaborations to support applied health research and research on implementation of health and care evidence into day-to-day practice.

 The NIHR invests significantly in people, centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support health and care research in England. Collectively these form the NIHR infrastructure. 

Our infrastructure funding provides a platform to enable research in England, acting as a targeted and strategic investment to create an environment where early-phase, clinical and applied research can thrive.

Our research infrastructure facilitates the translation of discoveries into improved treatments and services for the benefit of patients and the NHS.

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About Applied Research Collaborations

NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs) support applied health and care research that responds to, and meets, the needs of local populations and local health and care systems.

These 15 local partnerships between NHS providers, universities, charities, local authorities, Academic Health Science Networks and other organisations also undertake implementation research to increase the rate at which research findings are implemented into practice.

The ARCs, announced in July 2019,  aim to improve outcomes for patients and the public; improve the quality, delivery and efficiency of health and care services; and increase the sustainability of the health and care system both locally and nationally.

The ARCs undertake research on a number of areas of need highlighted by the NIHR Futures of Health report, including: the challenges of an ageing society; multimorbidity; and the increasing demands placed on our health and care system.

The £135 million five-year funding also aims to deliver national-level impact through significant collaboration between the ARCs, with individual ARCs providing national leadership within their fields of expertise.


The 15 ARCs are


 NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North Thames

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Northwest London

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Wessex

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire and Humber




National leadership areas

Each NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARCs) undertakes research on a range of themes and they also work together on a number of national leadership area. Research projects and collaborations between the ARCs drives progress in applied health research and implementation science in areas of national priority.

National priority areas

The NIHR ARCs national priority areas are seven areas of applied health and care research that benefit from £13.125 million NIHR funding over three years to deliver ‘real world’ impact. The priority areas have been identified by the NIHR as areas that will benefit from national cross ARC collaboration. Working together the NIHR ARCs will look to develop evidence to inform decision making, enable effective implementation and change practice to address the identified health challenges. The programme brings together the 15 regional ARCs from across England to work with partners, patients and the public to deliver collective projects that investigate and tackle the most pressing health and care problems.


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