Medical research

NIHR continue to support cutting-edge research as they award £800m to BRCs

The health sector’s world-leading research is set to continue with a fresh lease of life, after the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) awarded almost £800m to 20 Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) in England, further supporting and funding the collaboration of health experts and academics to tackle the industry’s most difficult challenges.

In this latest round of investment, the North and Midlands has received a significant boost with almost £250m of the funding ringfenced for organisations outside of London, Oxford and Cambridge. A new BRC has also been funded in the south west, broadening the coverage of early stage research across the country and levelling out health disparities relating to clinical trial access.

This fourth round of funding will support research into areas such as mental health, cancer, infectious diseases and dementia, as well as providing opportunities for a wide range of professionals to progress their careers.

BRCs form an integral part of the NIHR’s research infrastructure and have assisted 60,000 studies, published 55,000 research papers, as well as boosted the careers of over 14,000 junior doctors and research scientists.

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Executive of the NIHR, said: “Research by NIHR Biomedical Research Centres has led to a number of ground-breaking new treatments, such as new gene therapies for haemophilia and motor neurone disease, the world-first treatment for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, a nose-drop vaccine for whooping cough, and the first UK-wide study into the long-term impact of COVID-19.

“This latest round of funding recognises the strength of expertise underpinning health and care research across the country and gives our nation’s best researchers more opportunities to develop innovative new treatments for patients.”

The 20 NIHR BRCs for 2022-2027 include:

  • NIHR Barts BRC run by Barts Health NHS Trust in partnership with Queen Mary University of London
  • NIHR Birmingham BRC run by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Birmingham
  • NIHR Bristol BRC run by University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Bristol
  • NIHR Cambridge BRC run by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Cambridge
  • NIHR Exeter BRC run by Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Exeter
  • NIHR Great Ormond Street Hospital BRC run by Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with University College London
  • NIHR Imperial BRC run by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in partnership with Imperial College London
  • NIHR Leeds BRC run by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with the University of Leeds
  • NIHR Leicester BRC run by University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust in partnership with the University of Leicester
  • NIHR Manchester BRC run by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Manchester
  • NIHR Maudsley BRC run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with King’s College London
  • NIHR Moorfields BRC run by Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with University College London
  • NIHR Newcastle BRC run by The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with Newcastle University
  • NIHR Nottingham BRC run by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with the University of Nottingham
  • NIHR Oxford BRC run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Oxford
  • NIHR Oxford Health BRC run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Oxford
  • NIHR The Royal Marsden BRC run by The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with The Institute of Cancer Research
  • NIHR Sheffield BRC run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Sheffield
  • NIHR Southampton BRC run by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with the University of Southampton
  • NIHR University College London BRC run by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with University College London

Health and Social Care Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of our booming research sector and the potential it has to not only strengthen health and care services, but lead to lifesaving developments. This additional funding will harness the UK's world leading innovation and allow research centres up and down the country to attract experts in their field and conduct research that saves lives.

“From helping develop the COVID vaccine to discovering world-first treatments, these centres have already delivered ground-breaking research and will continue to help us tackle some of the biggest health challenges we face, including cancer, to ensure the NHS continues to deliver world-class care.”

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