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Nine specialist teams awarded £22.5m to address research knowledge gaps and help policymakers make more informed decisions

More than £20m has been given to nine specialist teams to investigate gaps in research knowledge, the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has announced.

The research teams, known as Evidence Synthesis Groups (ESGs), will deliver projects requested by everything from NHS trusts, patient communities, and members of the public in a variety of areas spanning healthcare, public health and social care.

By utilising pre-existing research, the teams will look to identify areas that need more attention in the future. The groups believe their findings will support policymakers make more informed decisions.

Each ESG has been allocated £2.5m over five years; together, the NIHR estimate the teams could work on as many as 45 projects per year.

The nine commissioned ESGs are based at:

  • The University of Sheffield
  • The University of Glasgow
  • The University of Aberdeen
  • The University of Bristol
  • University College London
  • The University of York
  • The University of Warwick
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Exeter

Programme director for NIHR’s Evidence Synthesis Programme, Professor Lesley Stewart, explained: “The groups provide breadth and depth of ‘on tap’ expertise in evidence synthesis that will enable the Evidence Synthesis Programme to respond quickly and efficiently to important health and care topics raised by stakeholders across the four nations of the UK.

“Groups will combine research rigour with responsiveness to deliver high-quality evaluation and syntheses of existing research studies to match stakeholder needs. These will support evidence-informed decision-making and ultimately help improve the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and experience of health and social care provision.”

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