NIHR Announces Package of Funding for Research on Climate and Health

NIHR is launching a new sustainability-themed package of funding for research into climate and health, as announced by NIHR Chief Executive Professor Lucy Chappell.

NIHR Chief Executive Professor Lucy Chappell has announced a new sustainability-themed package of funding in reponse to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). The funding will be for research into climate and health, and especially recognises the global nature of the climate challenge.

The new funding package includes a £20 million funding call specifically to develop new evidence to improve the health outcomes of people most impacted by climate change and extreme weather events in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) through adaptation and development of health service provision. This call will align with the priorities identified by the Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA) and its global health needs assessment on climate-resilient health systems.

As part of the package, NIHR has launched a new call (21/577) for research to support the delivery of a net zero health and social care system. The call is part of the Health and Social Care Delivery Research (HSDR) programme and will fund research to evaluate existing or new initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in care pathways and health and social care services, including their implementation or service redesign models. The call application deadline is 24 May 2022.

A further sustainability-themed call is expected to launch in early 2022. It will seek research into the evaluation of interventions or services to support the delivery of a more sustainable UK health and care system, including mitigating the effects of climate change on health and care delivery.

Speaking about the new funding package, Professor Chappell said:

‘It’s essential that we commit to research that addresses the need for adaptation and resilience of health systems, designed and undertaken in partnership with the communities most affected. Science and technology will underpin these next steps.

‘As Chief Executive of the NIHR, I’m really pleased that we’re already funding research to help the UK health and care system work towards net zero which will lead to improved health outcomes. But we can always do more.

‘The NIHR will intensify its work in this important area to improve public health and respond to global health challenges and changing patterns of disease, including climate change, and support the delivery of a low carbon UK health and care system.’

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)