Background and summary
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted stark health inequalities in the UK. There is evidence that access to local cultural assets and activities (including libraries and museums) and high-quality natural environments (including green and blue spaces) can improve health and thereby level up health outcomes.
Therefore, place-based approaches to public health, both intervention (including but not restricted to social prescribing) and prevention, offer new avenues to tackling health inequality.
But the evidence base for these approaches is currently insufficient to underwrite a full-scale national mobilisation of cultural and environmental assets in the service of levelling up health outcomes. We therefore need a more precise understanding of:
- how health inequalities are developed and sustained
- how access to cultural, environmental and other community assets improve health outcomes
- the kinds of local partnerships and mechanisms needed to mobilise these assets in order to do so.
AHRC, in partnership with MRC, will address these needs initially through a 12-month funded programme, comprising a number of individual research and network-building projects, across 2021 and 2022.
It is hoped that this programme will be scaled up in future years, with contributions from further research councils within UKRI, although this is subject to future UKRI funding outcomes.
Before the opportunity for this one-year programme is issued, in autumn 2021, AHRC wishes to have a programme fellow in place to coordinate across different individual projects and to perform other functions, as described below.
Governance and management
The fellow will be required to work closely with AHRC and will be expected to meet regularly with staff responsible for the programme. AHRC will convene regular project meetings with the fellow to ensure that there are coherent activities covering the portfolio and to maximise the potential impact from the programme.
Knowledge exchange and collaboration
We are committed to knowledge exchange and to encouraging collaboration between researchers and the private, public and civil society sectors. We encourage academic teams to link with bodies that can help ensure research has real impact. Collaborative working benefits both the researchers and the individual or organisations involved.
Through collaboration, partners:
- learn about each other’s expertise
- share knowledge
- gain an appreciation of different professional cultures.
Collaborative activity can therefore lead to a better understanding of the ways that academic research can add value and offer insights to key issues of concern for policy and practice. Knowledge exchange should not be treated as an ‘add-on’ at the end of a research project but considered before the start and built into a project.
We are committed to ensuring that our research community makes the outputs from any UKRI-funded research publicly available.
‘Open access’ aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for:
- the wider higher education sector
UKRI is currently reviewing and developing its policy on open access, including a consultation on a proposed policy. RCUK Policy on Open Access will continue to apply to research council-supported research until the outcome of the UKRI review of open access is known.
Read the UKRI open research information.
AHRC award holders (inclusive of fellowships) must ensure that all outcomes from their grant are recorded in the online researchfish system. Once a year during the grant period, and up to five years after the grant end date, award holders are required to confirm that the outcome information on researchfish is accurate and up to date.
In addition to reporting outcomes through researchfish, once a grant has ended a key findings report and a narrative impact report must be completed on researchfish as directed by UKRI.
The fellow may be required to submit further written reports to AHRC and MRC. The format of these will be communicated once the successful applicant is in place. The award holder is required to ensure that all outcome submissions comply with intellectual property rights held by parties other than the AHRC.
For further UKRI information on grant reporting please see reporting your research outcomes.
All personal data provided to UKRI in connection with this joint funding opportunity will be processed in accordance with current data protection legislation. As this is a joint funding opportunity the information provided will be processed by:
- the Arts and Humanities Research Council
- the Medical Research Council
- the Natural Environment Council
- National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH).
Further information on how we use your personal data, and how you can exercise your rights as a data subject, can be found in the UKRI privacy notice and the NCCH Privacy Notice.