Background

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) pose a significant burden to the UK, accounting for around 89% of all deaths and resulting in large economic costs to health and social care systems and to the wider society. Diverse and complex factors and systems operate together to influence NCDs. Recognising the need for large-scale, multidisciplinary solutions for the prevention of NCDs, 12 major funders of health research have partnered to invest over £50 million in the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) to improve population health, and reduce health inequalities, through the primary prevention of NCDs. The vision is to generate new knowledge on actionable, sustainable and cost-effective ways of modifying the upstream systems and environments which influence NCDs in the UK.

Under the first UKPRP funding round, eight consortia and networks were awarded over £25 million to tackle major upstream determinants of NCDs. Details of the successful proposals are available online.

Scope

Under the first UKPRP funding round, four consortia and four networks were awarded over £25 million to tackle major upstream determinants of NCDs. Details of each consortium and network are available on www.ukprp.org. The funders now seek to complement the initial portfolio of UKPRP investment and would particularly welcome proposals to form consortia and networks in the areas outlined below. UKPRP-funded research delivered through the consortia should focus on solutions, policies and strategies which are sustainable, replicable, feasible and affordable and which aim to enable change within complex adaptive systems.

Call details

The UKPRP funders are pleased to announce that a second funding call will be launched on 3 September 2019 for proposals for new Consortium and Network awards.

Under the second call, we are looking to complement the current portfolio of UKPRP investment and anticipate proposals in the areas listed below. The list is not exhaustive, and we’d welcome proposals outside of the areas provided that they complement the current portfolio.

  • preventing poor mental health and promoting mental wellbeing
  • reducing health inequalities (where this forms the primary focus of the application)
  • social and economic determinants of health and wellbeing
  • food systems, unhealthy diets and obesity (we are aware of existing research funding schemes on food systems and influences on diet. Given the importance of this research challenge, the UKPRP would welcome proposals addressing this area.)
  • developing interventions in specific ages including on issues relating to ageing; and in occupational settings
  • fostering the use of evidence in decision making in local government
  • urban environment, including transport systems and air quality
  • using green and blue space for improving population health and preventing NCDs
  • using digital technologies and social media to deliver interventions, and exploiting large-scale datasets and linkage to routine datasets

New knowledge and fresh approaches to preventing NCDs can be delivered more effectively through assembling expertise and insights across diverse academic disciplines and users (including policy makers, practitioners, the third sector, industry, the public etc.) and by taking a complex systems approach. We are therefore keen to engage a range of disciplines, including those that have not traditionally been involved in NCD-prevention research, in the second funding round. We would welcome applications from research teams including expertise from outside of what is generally perceived as the public health arena: for example, engineers, geographers, architects, designers, systems scientists, transport planners, lawyers and linguists. Proposals could be led by researchers from these disciplines and/or be in partnership with disciplines typically involved in population health research but should be co-produced with users to deliver proposals that are relevant to policy and practice.

Application process

There will be a two-stage process for applications for UKPRP Consortium Awards:

  1. Outline Application and Consortium Development Period
  2. Full application for UKPRP Consortium Awards

Please visit the MRC website for further details of the call and application process.

Key dates

  • Deadline for outline applications – 14 November 2019