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NIHR awards further funding to boost Global Health Research

Published: 05 July 2018

The NIHR has invested a further £40m into world class research through its Global Health Research (GHR) Programme.

A funding call initially launched in June 2017 invited applications from existing specialist academic groups who wished to expand into the field of global health by delivering measurable benefits to patients and the public in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). A total of 20 NIHR GHR Groups have been awarded funding, covering a broad range of research themes, including: improving asthma outcomes in African children; health system responses to violence against women, and preterm birth prevention and management.

Professor Jonathan Grigg, Director of the NIHR Global Health Research Group on improving asthma outcomes in African children, said “I am delighted that the NIHR has funded this school-based study of asthma control, and the causes of poor control, in children living in six major cities across Sub-Saharan Africa. The NIHR has a superb track record of using evidence generated by academic research to improve outcomes of non-communicable diseases, and this is perhaps the most significant investment in paediatric asthma research in Africa to date. I am looking forward to working with my African colleagues to apply the results of this research to generate a step-change in asthma outcomes in children across this continent.”

In addition to these latest awards, the NIHR will be investing up to £30m on research that focuses on key areas of unmet need where a targeted investment can result in a transformative impact.  A new initiative, Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT), launched its first call on 21st June 2018 and will be seeking applications with a particular focus on epilepsy, infection-related cancer and severe stigmatising skin diseases.

Dr Louise Wood, Director, Science, Research and Evidence Directorate, Department of Health and Social Care said “The NIHR is adding substantive value to the field of global health and helping to keep the UK at the forefront of health knowledge for global benefit. These new activities complement the breadth and range of our existing portfolio of funded research to improve health outcomes across LMICs and demonstrate the NIHR’s role in supporting the UK Aid Strategy.”

Mike Batley, Deputy Director, Research Programmes, Department of Health and Social Care  said: “The 20 new NIHR GHR Groups represent a unique portfolio of research that will address key health challenges in LMICs through equitable partnerships. These awards increase the total number of Units and Groups funded under the NIHR GHR programme to 53, representing a significant NIHR contribution to the global health research funding landscape.

With partnerships established in almost 50 LMICs, the NIHR GHR Units and Groups are testament to the NIHR’s commitment to expand its global reach and to support applied health research that will underpin stronger health systems and health outcomes in LMICs.”

The NIHR Global Health Research programme allocates the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)'s Official Development Assistance (ODA) research funding, delivering internationally-outstanding applied global health research for the direct and primary benefit of patients and the public LMICs. To find out more, please see our global health webpage.

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