The UK’s health research ecosystem is set for a boost as the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) announces it has funded seven new incubators for next year.
Established in 2018, the NIHR’s Incubator programme works to promote networking, training and overall career development opportunities for healthcare professionals.
Each incubator provides funding to local stakeholders to help them find barriers to research capacity and identify solutions. The NIHR describes them as “virtual and bespoke” to the communities they serve.
Including three successful reapplications, 2024 will see 10 incubators launch – they, and their leads, include:
- The Applied Health and Care Research Methodology Incubator which was a successful reapplication and will be led by Professor Dawn Teare;
- The Clinical Education Incubator which was a successful reapplication and will be led by Professor Gillian Vance;
- The Community Rehabilitation Incubator which will be led by Professor Lindsay Bearne;
- The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Radiographers Incubator which will be led by Dr Helen McNair;
- The Emergency Care Incubator which was a successful reapplication and will be led by Dr Edward Carlton and Professor Heather Jarman;
- The Mental Health Social Care Incubator which will be led by Professor Catherine Robinson;
- The Paediatric Critical Care Incubator which will be led by Dr Padmanabhan Ramnarayan;
- The Pharmacy professionals Incubator which will be led by Professor Debi Battacharya;
- The Race Equity and Diversity in Careers Incubator which will be led by Professor Yemisi Takwoingi and Professor Mahendra Patel;
- The Regulatory Science in AI and Digital Healthcare Incubator which will be led by Professor Alastair K Denniston.
Professor Anne-Maree Keenan, who is the associate dean of the NIHR Academy, said that she was “delighted” with the funding for the incubators before further highlighting the “important role” they will play in supporting under-represented groups and tackling the national need in certain research areas.
“I am excited to see the positive changes they can make. They will help the NIHR shine a spotlight on these crucial areas and think creatively about how to solve the issues that they face,” added Prof Keenan.
With the NIHR set to support them for three years, all of the incubators will commence their set-up phases from the start of next month with launch anticipated to be January 2024.
This is the just latest move from the NIHR to support health research with this news closely following the announcement that the organisation has partnered with the UK’s top colleges to develop a series of e-learning programmes for aspiring researchers.