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NIHR joins forces with MRC and ESRC to fund multidisciplinary research in multimorbidity

Published: 18 December 2019

NIHR is joining forces with the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to fund multidisciplinary research into multimorbidity, as part of a £20 million Strategic Priorities Fund initiative. 

This funding initiative, Tackling Multimorbidity at Scalewill support new research collaborations and is jointly funded by the NIHR and the MRC, in close collaboration with ESRC.

A large and growing number of people around the world suffer from two or more long-term physical or mental health conditions, known as multimorbidity. This poses many challenges for individuals, carers and the health and social care system. A recent Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) report identified multimorbidity research as an urgent priority for the UK and globally. 

Collaboration in research is critical to address gaps in understanding and to achieve the scale of impact required in this area. The new funding will bring together a wide range of researchers from fields as diverse as public health, social science, epidemiology, data science, health services research, computer science and basic science to create new Research Collaboratives in multimorbidity.

The views and expertise of patients and carers with lived experience of multimorbidity will be incorporated at all stages. The initiative will aim to boost involvement of those who may not have previously been working in multimorbidity research. 

The funded Research Collaboratives will shed light on a range of topics, such as how particular diseases cluster together (for example, patients are often affected by both diabetes and heart disease) and how multimorbidity is driven not only by physical issues but also psychological and social factors.

The UK is ideally placed to lead multimorbidity research and develop new ways to tackle the problem, with researchers able to access information from large groups of patients and long-term studies of their health. 

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