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NIHR Launches ‘Challenge’ Funding Call to Tackle Maternity Disparities

The NIHR has launched its first ‘Challenge’ funding call, focused on finding new ways to tackle maternity disparities. Recently announced as part of the Department for Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) women’s health priorities for 2024, the new funding call will target research funding to where it is needed most.

This initiative aims to bring together researchers and policymakers to find innovative solutions to tackle inequalities in maternity care, with up to £50 million in funding over five years to be allocated to support research and capacity-building activities. The emphasis on creating a diverse consortium and promoting a multidisciplinary whole systems approach reflects a comprehensive strategy to address uncertainties across research, innovation, and implementation.

By fostering collaboration and drawing on diverse expertise, this funding initiative has the potential to make a significant impact on maternity care, leading to measurable improvements and a step change in addressing disparities. The geographical spread of research efforts also ensures that the initiative targets areas where the need is greatest, contributing to more equitable outcomes in maternity care.

Applications for consortium membership can be made online via the NIHR’s Research Management System, with additional support provided through webinars and guidance documents. Consortium membership eligibility requires a proven track record in relevant research and research capacity development. Collaborative applications are also encouraged, especially involving organisations serving historically underserved populations.

The current call is now open and closes on May 22nd, with specific research projects expected to commence in February 2025.

For more information please contact nihrchallenge@nihr.ac.uk or visit NIHR Challenge: Maternity Inequalities funding call | NIHR