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University to invest £1.76 million into research tackling health inequalities

24 May 2024

This investment will support research to better understand and reduce health inequalities across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Crowded street

Tackling health inequalities is a strategic priority for our University. The ambition to enhance health outcomes for communities locally and around the world sits at the heart of the University’s mission and is reflected in Our Future. Over the next three years we are investing in interdisciplinary research and activities focused on addressing inequalities and improving health and wellbeing. 

“This investment shows a commitment to research that is driven by our core values of social responsibility and civic engagement,” explained Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Tackling health inequalities is so vital at home here in Greater Manchester, and what we do here can make a difference to achieving progress around the world.”

In his recent lecture as part of The University’s Talk 200 series, Professor Sir Chris Whitty explored the topic of health inequalities and how the world's greatest killer is not any one individual disease but the unequal way in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. Though challenging, he considers it a “largely solvable problem if we are very serious about it."

The Healthier Futures research platform, led by Professor Dame Nicky Cullum, has been established to better understand these root causes of inequalities and explore what can be done to reduce them.

The platform’s activities fall across three ‘challenge areas’ – Healthier Lives, Healthier Places and Healthier Systems. Within these challenges, we are exploring topics including, but not limited to, ageing, children and young people, employment and productivity, the environment, ethnicity and racism, health and social care, and poverty and deprivation.

As with the Unversity’s other research platforms, Healthier Futures is mobilising research across disciplines, building capacities and communities, showcasing the University’s groundbreaking interdisciplinary collaborations, and developing solutions in partnership with practitioners, policymakers and publics.

This funding will support continued academic leadership of the Healthier Futures platform, rapid evidence synthesis in key priority areas, postdoctoral fellowships, research pump-priming, public engagement, and communications and events. Working collaboratively, both locally and internationally, the platform will focus on:

  • Accelerating impact: accelerating evidence-based solutions into policy and practice; ensuring we get the most from existing research and innovation.
  • Collaborative applied research: with our stakeholders, co-producing path-breaking applied research to create, test and implement new approaches to narrowing health inequalities and improving wellbeing.
  • Community involvement: engaging with local communities, patients, and public service users to understand their experiences and co-design innovative and inclusive new approaches.
  • Business engagement: working with businesses who want to take action to improve health equity and develop new commercial products and services that improve health outcomes.
  • Teaching and training: developing new approaches for higher and further education organisations to train the health equity literate workforce of the future, including promoting interdisciplinary research in relevant undergraduate teaching (including UCIL courses), PGT teaching, and PGR training.

To keep up to date with the latest news from Healthier Futures and the latest health inequalities related research, events and opportunities at the University, you can: