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NIHR announces £34 million investment in new global health award

Published: 24 January 2024

The NIHR has announced a new award which aims to help global health researchers to become research leaders.

The Global Advanced Fellowships were announced on 23 January at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference 2024 in Thailand, by Professor Kara Hanson, NIHR’s Programme Director for Global Health Research.

Up to £34 million will be used to fund three annual rounds of the new Global Advanced Fellowship. This aims to create a sustainable career pathway for global health researchers from the UK and low and middle income countries (LMICS).

Professor Hanson said: “Our new Global Advanced Fellowship award fills an important gap in the career pathway for global health researchers.

“Alongside their research, award holders will develop their leadership skills and experience, and strengthen collaborations and professional networks. It provides a new opportunity for global health researchers from LMICs and the UK to advance their research careers.”

NIHR launched the new awards at a special session of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference in Bangkok. This is a prestigious event attended by global health leaders from around the world.

Research projects to benefit LMICs

NIHR has developed the Global Advanced Fellowship award to create opportunities for mid-career researchers. The award will enable post-doctoral researchers to develop leadership expertise and progress their careers. Currently, there is a lack of mid-career opportunities in the global health funding landscape, particularly for researchers employed in LMICs.

Successful researchers will receive up to £750,000 to fund:

  • a research project (the research must primarily and directly benefit people in LMICs)
  • a tailored training and development programme
  • LMIC institutional capacity strengthening

The scheme is open to those from the following professional backgrounds:

  • health
  • public health
  • social care
  • methodology

They must be based in the UK or countries that are eligible to receive Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Health Minister Andrew Stephenson said: “This award, backed by up to £34 million in UK international development funding, will foster the next generation of global health researchers and encourage innovation – ultimately helping us to tackle diseases and save lives across the world.

“It will nurture talent in low and middle income countries as well as the UK, ensuring that we can strengthen research capacity and support research in areas that will address critical global health challenges.

“This new award will allow us to build resilience against future global health threats and support more researchers.”

Global Health Research programme develops future leaders

The NIHR Global Health Research programme was established in 2016. It funds applied health research and training to meet the needs of people in LMICs.

NIHR also trains and develops future leaders in applied global health research to support research and career pathways. So far, it has helped support almost 1,000 researchers to progress their careers in global health.

Next steps

The Global Advanced Fellowship will open for applications in April 2024. There will be 10 awards available in the first round. The plan is to increase the number of awards in future rounds.

For more information please read the detailed guidance document. Or express interest in applying for the scheme.

To learn about the scheme's developments subscribe to our Global Health newsletter and follow us on X (Twitter) @NIHRglobal.

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