New research initiative to tackle UK public health problems

We’ve joined an alliance of research funders to support a new initiative in UK prevention research. A funding call will follow later in 2017.

Three people sitting on a bench, and older man and woman and an overweight younger man.
Diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are increasing. As people age, this is putting unsustainable pressure on health and social care.

The UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP), which includes some of the Research Councils and the Department of Health, wants to find sustainable and cost-effective ways of improving UK population health and reducing health inequalities by preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). 

We are inviting expressions of interest(opens in a new tab) to attend the UKPRP Networking and Collaboration event. We want to ensure there’s a mix of research expertise and representation from institutions across the UK.

NCDs, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory disease, cancer and poor mental health, are increasing. This impairs individuals’ health and quality of life and, as they age, places unsustainable pressure on the UK economy, and health and social care systems. 

Many NCDs are closely associated with a number of common ‘upstream’ influences, such as:

  • the built and natural environment
  • employment
  • education
  • welfare
  • transport
  • health and social care
  • communication systems
  • local and central government policies 
  • commercial enterprises’ policies. 

The challenge is to increase knowledge and develop robust interventions that can effectively modify these complex systems and environments and lead to improvements in public health. 

The UKPRP will approach this challenge through a £40m-£50m initiative. 

It will focus on stimulating new multidisciplinary research collaborations, working with policy makers, providers and professionals, and with a range of industry sectors, to help to deliver sustainable, implementable and cost-effective solutions. 

The UKPRP also aims to:

  • build on emerging opportunities in technology and data science 
  • align closely with aspirations in the Academy of Medical Sciences report ‘Improving the health of the public by 2040’. 

More information

Find out more and register an expression of interest to attend the workshop, or contact Sophie Hawkesworth in Wellcome's Population Health team.