Population and Systems Medicine Board Launches Tackling Obesity Opportunity

Funding will support projects that develop effective strategies to tackle overweight and obesity.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) Population and Systems Medicine Board is providing funding for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary applications to tackle overweight and obesity. The research should support evidence-based approaches to improve health in real-life settings.

The ambition of the opportunity is to increase understanding of what makes an effective intervention. This will be achieved by encouraging greater integration and synergy across existing pockets of expertise in the biological, behavioural, psychological, environmental and social sciences.

Researchers from a range of backgrounds are therefore invited to collaborate to apply. Applications should be innovative, cross-disciplinary and collaborative, and include partnerships between basic, clinical and social scientists, and with other stakeholders.

Applications should provide robust evidence to improve public health in real-life settings by providing a holistic understanding of the important factors influencing obesity and developing effective strategies (individual, societal, or both) to tackle overweight and obesity.

Applications should help identify specific mechanisms for obesity development and progression at key transition points across the life course or in vulnerable groups, or both. Applications should also aim to:

  • Provide new insights on obesity by combining and building on:
    • Existing resources (such as, cohorts, epidemiological studies, clinical trials, intervention studies, NHS and other data).
    • Strengths in data linkage expertise.
  • Achieve greater understanding of the dynamic systems which lead to obesity by:
    • Enhancing and merging data resources from different domains.
    • Engaging with a range of relevant stakeholders (for example, local authorities; councils; the public; a broad set of relevant industries such as pharma, food and retail industries, new technologies, artificial intelligence and social media).

Research applications should include appropriate public and patient involvement and engagement, where appropriate.

Interested applicants are advised to consult the MRC eligibility guidance for applicants as well as the organisation eligibility requirements before submitting an application.

Specific details regarding eligibility can be found in the guidance for each relevant Population and Systems Medicine Board funding opportunity:

  • Research project
  • Programme
  • Partnership
  • New investigator research grant

There is no limit to the amount of funding that can be requested, but it should be appropriate to the project being requested. The MRC will usually fund up to 80% of the project’s full economic cost (FEC).

Applications should be submitted via the UKRI Funding Service at any time. Application rounds close every January, May and September.

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