Research strategy and capacity development in population health science: an MRC and personal view

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1 Research strategy and capacity development in population health science: an MRC and personal view Professor Anne Johnson, UCL Former Chair, MRC Population Health Sciences Strategy Group

2 Foci of MRC and NIHR activities Discovery and Exploratory Research Application and Delivery Research MRC Translational MRC lead NIHR lead Genetics/genomics Structural biology Imaging Systems medicine Global health Ageing: lifecourse Stem cells Infections Population science Pharmacogenomics Animal/human models Regenerative medicine Experimental medicine Methodology Global health Stratified medicine Public health HTA Trials EME Trials (Late stage III) Programmes in Applied research (PGfAR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Public Health Research (PHR) Invention for Innovation Service Delivery and Organisation E-health CSO (Scotland) WORD (Wales) HSCNI (Northern Ireland)

3 MRC Population Health Sciences Portfolio 2008 Population Health annualised weighted commitment by Health Research Classification System 160,000, ,000, ,000,000 All other Board commitment Partnerships and Contributions UNIT GRANT FELLOWSHIP 100,000,000 80,000,000 60,000,000 40,000,000 20,000,000 0 IIB MCMB Methodology Research Panel NMHB PSMB Trials NB Includes live grants and fellowships at 15 July 2008 plus Unit projects with spend in 2006/07 and Partnerships and Contributions with spend in 2007/08

4 MRC Population Health Sciences Portfolio: 107M Population Health - annualised weighted commitment by HRCS Research Activity September ,000,000 40,000,000 35,000,000 30,000,000 25,000,000 20,000,000 15,000,000 10,000,000 5,000,000 0 IIB MCMB NMHB PSMB Late Phase Trials Methodology Research Panel Infrastructure&tools (non-specific) NB Includes live and awarded grants and fellowships at September 2009 plus Unit projects and Partnerships & Contributions with spend in 2008/09 Total annualised commitment for Population Health Sciences is 107M

5 MRC Population Health Sciences Portfolio Population Health - annualised weighted commitment by HRCS Research Activity Codes September ,000,000 80,000,000 70,000,000 60,000,000 50,000,000 40,000,000 30,000,000 20,000,000 10,000, Aetiology 3 - Prevention of Disease and Conditions, and Promotion of Well- Being 4 - Detection, Screening and Diagnosis 8 - Health and Social Care Services Research NB Includes live and awarded grants and fellowships at September 2009 plus Unit projects and Partnerships & Contributions with spend in 2008/09 Total annualised commitment for Population Health Sciences is 107M

6 MRC Boards and Overview Groups Strategy Board Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board Population and Systems Medicine Board Infections and Immunity Board Population Health Sciences Group Neurosciences and Mental Health Board Translational Research Group Global Health Group Training and Careers Group Joint Panels: MRC, NIHR, Health Departments Eg methodology panels, special calls, review and training panels

7 Role of Population Health Sciences Group Oversee population health sciences investment across MRC Boards and panels Advise Strategy Board, Boards and panels on development and implementation of strategies and policies Advise on strategic funding initiatives and partnership activities Carry out gaps analyses and horizon scanning (cognisant of activities of NIHR)

8 Population Health: New opportunities A changing landscape Information revolution (Health and Bioinformatics, large cohorts, computing power for biostatistics, modelling, internet etc) High throughput (and affordable) molecular methods ( molecular epidemiology, aetiology, pathogenesis) Genomics (GWAS, Biobank etc) and co. Biomarkers Well phenotyped disease cohorts Measurement of population impacts Public Health White Paper

9 Selected Recent PHSG Activities Input into MRC s strategies in mental health, infections, obesity and ageing and guidance for funding cohorts Analysis of MRC portfolio in population health sciences and ongoing analyses of applications and awards Engagement with MRC s Population Health Sciences Research Network (PHSRN), OSCHR partners and NIHR programmes Landscaping population health sciences research in the UK and identifying gaps

10 Current and Future PHSG Activities Shaping MRC strategy in big data and the joint strategy with ESRC and Wellcome Trust on longitudinal studies Advising on strategic initiatives eg e-health & mental health Work on capacity development, including interactions with the Faculty of Public Health especially in field of training and research capacity building Increasing communications and awareness of opportunities in population health sciences Promoting the translation and impact of population health sciences Considering mechanisms to facilitate development of interventions across MRC and NIHR schemes

11 MRC CSR 2010 Programmatic Themes Population health sciences Strategic Delivery Priorities Supporting population based research in partnership with NIHR, Health Departments, Research Councils and Charities, to maximise the contribution that population health sciences can bring to a vibrant public health research agenda Living a Long and healthy life Mental Health Build on MRC mental health review to accelerate the development of intervention strategies for preventing chronic mental illness and promoting wellbeing Addressing the impact of lifestyle and behaviours on the health of the nation Understand the processes leading to obesity and identification of testable interventions Build on MRC addiction research strategy to understand the cause risk and natural history of addiction Health Ageing MRC lead Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Build on ageing strategy with a focus on neurodegeneration, musculoskeletal and extended working lives Harnessing the value of population health sciences Maximising the impact of large scale population cohorts including UK Biobank Increasing economic and societal gain through e-health research Strengthen UK research capability offered by increased access to linked ehealth-related data Public health infections research Build on infection strategy by increasing UK s ability to respond to new and re-emerging infections and target interventions to vulnerable groups

12 Population health opportunities are everywhere! Examples of X-cutting initiatives and other funding streams Living with environmental change E-health/big data initiatives NPRI Biobank Pandemic flu initiatives Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) Birth cohort studies Global health trials DFID consortia Disease specific charities etc etcetc

13 MRC Fellowships A Summary Non-Clinical, Clinical and Strategic Capacity Building fellowships PhD Career Development Award Senior Non-Clinical Research Yrs Post PhD Clinical Research Training Fellowship Clinical Training Clinician Scientist Senior Clinical Training Clinical Population Health Scientist Bioinformatics, Biostats, EoH 3yr 4yr 2yr Methodology Research 4yr

14 MRC Capacity Building Fellowships Extraordinary opportunities MRC fellowships enable outstanding individuals to undertake challenging projects in excellent research and training environments. It s incredibly rewarding to know that my research could have a direct impact on public health MRC Population Health Scientist Fellowship Part of a suite of strategic capacity building fellowship schemes Opportunity for early career research training and skills development in population health sciences Provides research costs and a specific training programme (for up to 4 yrs) Entry level: pre- or early post-doctoral (up to 4 yrs post-phd) Eligibility: non-clinical and clinical applicants (including AHPs) For further info see: Populationhealthscientist

15 Other Fellowship and training schemes NIHR- range of doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships. Academic Clinical Public health fellows and lecturers Wellcome Trust clinical and nonclinical fellowships at all grades Disease specific charities (BHF etc) CRC PH centre of excellence fellows

16 Public health white paper Threats and opportunities Localism vs national strategy? - Role of LAs and Public Health England Fragmentation or coordination? service dept, university depts, NHS, LHOs, MRC Units, PH Centres of excellence... Role of academic health sciences centre? Global health movement? New NIHR School of Public health New Policy Research Unit on Behaviour and Health

17 Order or Chaos? Creating a new Population Health Universe Opportunity to shape the future Respond to the White Paper consultation Be imaginative about future capacity building Feedback to MRC/Wellcome/NIHR Encourage the next generation of undergraduates and graduates

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