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. These are called NIHR Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs).
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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 ARC East of England
- NIHR ARC East Midlands
- NIHR ARC Greater Manchester
- NIHR ARC Kent, Surrey and Sussex
- NIHR ARC North East and North Cumbria
- NIHR ARC North Thames
- NIHR ARC Northwest London
- NIHR ARC North West Coast
- NIHR ARC Oxford and Thames Valley
- NIHR ARC South London
- NIHR ARC South West Peninsula
- NIHR ARC Wessex
- NIHR ARC West
- NIHR ARC West Midlands
- NIHR ARC 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. They are:
- Adult social care
- Ageing and dementia
- Child health and maternity
- Health and care inequalities
- Mental health
- Prevention, including behavioural risk factors
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.
ARCs and AHSNs collaborating to support post-pandemic priorities
The NHS Insights Prioritisation Programme (NIPP) was set up to accelerate the evaluation and implementation of promising innovations – selected for their potential to support the evolution of post-pandemic ways of working, build service resilience and deliver ongoing benefits to patients.
ARCs and Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) received £4.2m for collaborative projects.
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