Renewed membership for School for Public Health Research

Margaret Whitehead

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has today (Wednesday, 5 April) announced that a collaboration between the universities of Liverpool and Lancaster, under the LiLaC initiative, will be a member of renewed School for Public Health Research.

The LiLaC initiative is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and University of Lancaster for public health research.

Funding of £20.5 million over five years is available to support the new School.

Improving population health

The original School was established in April 2012 to bring together leading academic centres in England demonstrating excellence in public health research and complement other NIHR funding streams. It aims to build the evidence base for effective public health practice including what works practically to improve population health and reduce health inequalities and can be applied across the country to better meet the needs of policymakers, practitioners and the public.

The NIHR School for Public Health Research aims to build closer relations between researchers and public health practitioners. The emphasis is on what works practically, can be applied across the country and better meets the needs of policy makers, practitioners and the public.

The School will help the public health system to develop in the future by: narrowing the gap between those who supply public health and those who benefit from it, increasing the evidence base for effective public health practice, carrying out ‘applied translational research’ (where there is a direct link between research and its use in practice – so called ‘bench to bedside’) and taking into account public health needs and assessing activities that happen regionally which could have benefit nationally.

Tackling unfairness

Head of the University’s Department of Public Health and Policy and Joint Director of LiLaC, Professor Dame Margaret Whitehead, DBE, said: “I am pleased that our collaboration has, once again, been chosen to continue our work within the School for Public Health Research.

“This partnership highlights the continued importance of using research to tackle unfairness of health inequalities which unfortunately remains a problem for many people.”

Professor Jennie Popay from Lancaster University, said: “Lancaster’s public health researchers have benefitted enormously from collaboration with the academics partners and local practitioners in the School for Public Health Research over the past five years.

“We are very excited that we have the opportunity to continue to develop our research in SPHR over the next five years focusing especially on providing evidence to help reduce health inequalities”.

Following an open competition, the other members of the School include the University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the University of Sheffield, University College London and Fuse – a research collaboration between Newcastle University, Durham University, Northumbria University, University of Sunderland and Teesside University.

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