About the programme
This funding opportunity is phase three of the mobilising community assets to tackle health inequalities programme.
The programme is led by AHRC in partnership with NCCH, and is supported by BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, and NERC.
The programme is guided by AHRC’s Programme Director for Health Inequalities, Professor Helen Chatterjee. The role of the programme director is to provide intellectual leadership to the programme and facilitate coordination across, and bring coherence to, funded grants across the three phases of the programme.
This funding opportunity is supported through UKRI strategic themes ‘creating opportunities, improving outcomes’, and ‘building a secure and resilient world’.
This phase three funding opportunity will build upon evidence and consortia developed through phase one and phase two of the mobilising community assets to tackle health inequalities programme. However, funding received through phase one and phase two is not a prerequisite to apply for funding for phase three of the programme.
Collaborative research grants funded through this funding opportunity will work towards meeting the following programme objectives:
- to develop testable and replicable collaborative models for integrating community assets within the changing structures of health and social care in the UK, by understanding the complexities, barriers and enablers of integration
- to explain the links between these community assets and place-based health inequalities with a view to creating healthier, and more resilient, communities and environments, particularly for people living in the most deprived areas
- to converge data and learning from a range of local and regional models to inform the spread and adoption of collaborative models across the UK
Your application should be highly collaborative and have a strong focus on real world impact.
Community assets are broadly defined for this programme, to include organisations, individuals, networks and places which are used to support community interests. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- artists and arts organisations
- heritage sites
- green and blue spaces such as parks, the coastline and waterways
- community kitchens and gardens, allotments, farms, gyms and other sports- and exercise-related assets
- housing, legal, debt and advice services
This programme uses the term health inequalities to include varying definitions and interpretations of inequality and inequity, including the unfair and avoidable differences in health across different population groups.
Understanding the drivers of such inequalities and the role of community assets in reducing these differences is a core tenet of this programme.
Collaborative research grants
A total budget of £25 million is available to support applications under this funding opportunity. Applications may request funding for 36 months, ranging from £625,000 to £2.5 million FEC. At least £6.25 million of the total budget will be reserved to support high quality applications requesting between £625,000 and £1.25 million FEC. This is intended to support applications covering disciplines where the research community is not yet in a position to take on larger scale funding.
Collaborative grants will support high quality innovative research addressing the programme objectives, with interdisciplinary collaborations creating critical mass and expertise. They should be a national focal point for research in the chosen research area.
In addition to carrying out high quality research, collaborative grants will build capability and capacity in addressing the community assets and health inequalities challenge. They will attract new expertise to the field either through applying existing strengths to the research area, or through development of early career researchers, and partners from outside of academia.
Funded collaborative research grants must be made up of diverse but complementary groups of cross-disciplinary academics from across the arts, humanities, social, environmental, medical and biological sciences, working together with partners from outside of academia, community organisations and health system partners.
Applications requesting between £625,000 and £1.25 million FEC must include representation in the leadership team from remits of at least two UKRI research councils. Applications requesting between £1.25 million and £2.5 million must include representation in the leadership team from remits of at least three UKRI research councils.
Your application must include at least one researcher from an arts and humanities discipline.
Collaborative grants must also involve partnerships with stakeholders outside of academia, including, but not limited to:
- health systems
- third sector
- the public
Co-investigators from outside of academia can be included as part of the leadership team and this should be utilised to ensure equitable representation from different partners.
Funding should also provide opportunities for diverse community representation within the collaborative grants through patient and public involvement and engagement. It should consider how the lived experience of individuals can be better integrated into health systems research through co-production.
You are encouraged to include lived experience or community researchers, or both, as a valuable addition to the project team and cost this contribution accordingly.
The level of interdisciplinarity in the funded collaborative grants will be expected to reflect the level of complexity of the interconnected systems needed to create change in health inequalities via community assets. For example, taking an ecosystem wide approach to understanding the links between the health of people and the health of the environment, and considering how community assets can support a ‘planetary health’ approach.
Underrepresented disciplines in the field are encouraged to apply as part of a collaborative grant. Examples could be from across the environmental sciences, as well as economics and disciplines interested in links between community assets and nutrition and diet. Both academics and partners from outside of academia covering underrepresented disciplines should be considered as part of applications.
The principal investigator and their research office will be ultimately responsible for the administration of the grant and collaboration arrangements. However, they should also work on this with a team of co-investigators (at least two) which should reflect the interdisciplinary and sector relevance of the community assets and public health area.
A combination of disciplines must be present in your leadership team. This could include, but is not limited to, expertise from across:
- arts (for example, creative health)
- humanities (for example, health and medical humanities)
- social sciences (for example, psychology, demography, sociology, geography, education)
- environmental sciences (for example, natural sciences, environmental microbiology)
- biosciences and biomedicine (for example, agri-food production, diet, nutrition and health, microbiology)
- medical research (for example, population health sciences, nursing and other allied sciences, health systems and improvement, implementation sciences)
- law and criminal justice
- built environment
All applications should include a minimum of two co-investigators. At least one investigator must be from an arts and humanities discipline.
The successful grants will be led by a strong, interdisciplinary team who can articulate a clear shared vision for the project. They should engage beyond usual stakeholders, ensuring equitable partnerships and supporting novel interdisciplinary approaches.
Co-investigators from outside of academia should be included on the leadership team. For example, individuals from local government, health systems, community assets, lived experience researchers, etc. Where justified, the time of these non-academic co-investigators will be funded at 100% FEC. However, we recognise that some partners may be employed by a government-funded organisation. You must therefore avoid the double counting of public funds in the costings.