UKRI Population Health Improvement Network of Clusters

Closing Date: –

Funding from UKRI to support up to seven population health improvement research clusters.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is launching this opportunity to support up to seven population health improvement research clusters. This opportunity defines clusters as a group of interdisciplinary researchers working together to address an important population health challenge.

UKRI is seeking to establish a new high profile, national interdisciplinary research network that will explore novel ways to transform health through change at the population level across the UK. This network will build on research by multiple clusters that address a specific challenge to progress systems interventions in communities using funding from this initiative.

The initiative aims to explicitly include people who typically have not applied their expertise to improving population health before and to work together with researchers already in the area to catalyse creative and innovative approaches that build on and synergise existing strengths and build new capabilities.

Each cluster must:

  • Bring together multiple research organisations.
  • Include expertise from multiple disciplines and stakeholders to co-develop solutions for complex challenges.
  • Identify creative ways to broaden inclusion and strengthen engagement and partnerships with communities, people with lived experience and policy makers to identify and co-design the cluster challenge.
  • Synergise and enhance existing UK strengths.
  • Clearly set out deliverables for practical outcomes and impact and how they will be measured.
  • Develop and host an innovative and multidimensional training provision to encourage a new generation of future leaders.
  • Remain open to new members, partnerships and collaborations.

The success of the network will depend on coordination and synergy between clusters and each cluster will work proactively with the director to drive the network ambition of improving population health and health equity. UKRI will run a series of engagement events in spring 2023 to help bring people together, develop ideas and shape research clusters.

A coordination hub consisting of the network director, leads of each of the clusters, and a small team of core-support staff will manage the network. The director will be commissioned via a separate announcement and process.

The UKRI goal is a holistic, 360-degree perspective of the biological, social, economic, behavioural, cultural and environmental influences on the physical, cognitive and mental health and wellbeing of populations. Together with development and evaluation of radically, innovative interventions at the population level that are based on systems approaches.

Challenges can be around methods development or take topic-driven approaches. Examples of potential topics include:

  • Close links between health impact of poverty and poor-quality living environments.
  • Addressing health consequences of the local environment.
  • Access to safe, nutritious, affordable food.
  • Behavioural and cultural insights into physical activity relating to urban environments and transport solutions.
  • Exploring how creative interventions can contribute to the prevention of ill-health, promotion of healthy behaviours, management of long-term conditions, and treatment and recovery across the life course.
  • Health benefits from public sector spending allocations.
  • New methods for evaluation of interventions in complex systems.

This list is not exclusive and applicants are encouraged to think creatively around the challenges that could be addressed and the impact that could be achieved.

Full details of the opportunity will be published in January 2023.

Funding body UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Maximum value £7,000,000
Reference ID S24604
Category Economic and Social Research
Medical Research
Biotechnology and Biology
Fund or call Fund