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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.

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 previously funded 13 NIHR Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRCs), which were local partnerships between NHS providers, universities, charities, local authorities, Academic Health Science Networks and other organisations. The CLAHRCs scheme closed in September 2019 and has been succeeded by the NIHR ARCs scheme.

 

National leadership areas

Each NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) undertakes research on a range of themes - such as dementia, long-term conditions and public health - to improve health and care systems to benefit patients, staff and the public.  

The ARCs also work together on a number of national leadership areas. Research projects and collaborations between the ARCs drives progress in applied health research and implementation science in areas of national priority.

ARCNational leadership areaResearch themes
NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England

Mental health

Palliative and end-of-life care

Research themes:

Ageing and multimorbidity
Population evidence and data science
Inclusive involvement in research for practice-led health and social care
Mental health over the life course
Palliative and end of life care
Prevention and early detection in health and social care

Cross-cutting theme:

Health economics and prioritisation in health and social care

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands

Equality, diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups groups

Multimorbidity

Research themes:

Mental health and wellbeing 
Managing multi-morbidity
Building community resilience and enabling independence 

Cross-cutting themes:

Translating and implementing sustainable service improvement
Ethnicity and Health Inequalities
Data2health

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Greater Manchester Economics

Research themes:

Digital health

Healthy ageing

Organising care

Economic sustainability

Mental health

Cross-cutting themes:

Evaluation 
Implementation science

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex Social care

Research themes: 

Social care 
Starting well: Children’s mental health 
Ageing Well: Living well with dementia 
Primary and community services

Cross-cutting themes:

Co-production 
Public health 
Digital innovation
Health and social care economics

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria

Inequalities

Prevention

Research themes:

Supporting children and families 
Multimorbidity, ageing and frailty
Integrating physical, mental health and social care 
Prevention, early intervention and behaviour change

Cross-cutting themes:

Inequalities and marginalised communities
Enabling methodologies
Knowledge mobilisation and implementation science

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North Thames Population health

Research themes:

Mental health: tackling social and institutional inequalities in mental health systems 
Multimorbidity: understanding clusters and evaluating care
Population health and social care  

Cross-cutting themes:

Innovation and implementation science 
Health economics and data

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Northwest London Cardiovascular

Research themes: 

Child population health
Multimorbidity 

Cross-cutting themes:

Digital health
Innovation and evaluation
Information and intelligence 
Patient, public, community engagement and involvement 
Collaborative learning and capacity building

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast  

Research themes:

Person-centred complex care
Improving population health
Equitable place-based health and care
Health and care across the life course

Cross-cutting themes:

Methodological innovation, development, adaptation and support
Care and health informatics

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley Behavioural science

Research themes:

Disease prevention through health behaviour change
Patient self-management
Mental health across the life course
Community health and social care improvement
Applied digital health 

Cross-cutting themes:

Novel methods to aid and evaluate implementation

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London

Mental health

Palliative and end-of-life care

 

Research themes:

Alcohol
Children and young people
Maternity and perinatal mental health
Palliative and end of life care
Patient and public involvement research
Public health and multimorbidities
Social care

Cross-cutting themes:

Applied informatics
Economics and biostatistics
Implementation science and research

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula

Child health

Operational research modelling

Research themes:

Dementia
Mental health
Public health
Complex care 

Cross-cutting theme:

Methods for research and improvement

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Wessex Ageing and dementia

Research theme:

Long-term conditions: integrating person centred approaches to optimise healthy living 

Cross-cutting themes:

Ageing and dementia: supporting independent living for people with complex health needs 
Healthy communities: improving public health across the life course 
Health systems & workforce: supporting health and social care by improving service delivery

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Applied health informatics

Research themes:
Healthier childhoods
Integrated and optimal care 
Mental health 
Public health and prevention 

Cross-cutting themes:
Applied data science 
Behavioural and qualitative science 
Evidence 
Health economics

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands  

Research themes:

Long-term conditions
Acute care interfaces
Integrated care in youth mental health
Maternity 

Cross-cutting themes:

Organisational science
Research methodology, informatics and rapid response
Public health
Social care

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire and Humber Urgent and emergency care

Research themes:

Older people with frailty
Early life and prevention
Urgent and emergency care
Mental and physical multimorbidity

Cross-cutting themes:

Health economics, evaluation, equality
Improvement science

National priority areas

The NIHR ARC 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.

National priority areaLead ARCs
Adult Social Care

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Ageing, including dementia and frailty

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East Midlands

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula

Child health and maternity

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula

Health and care inequalities

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Yorkshire and Humber North

Mental Health

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration East of England

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration South London

Multimorbidity

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West

Prevention, including behavioural risk factors

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands

Latest news about Applied Research Collaborations

 

 

Latest case studies about Applied Research Collaborations

 

 

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