JOURNAL ARTICLE

Systematic analysis of funding awarded to institutions in the United Kingdom for infectious disease research, 1997-2010

Michael G Head, Joseph R Fitchett, David Aj Moore, Rifat Atun
JRSM Open 2015, 6 (3): 2054270415577056
25893108

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the research investments made to UK institutions for all infectious disease research and identify the direction of spend by institution.

DESIGN: Systematic analysis. Databases and websites were systematically searched for information on relevant studies funded for the period 1997-2010.

SETTING: UK institutions carrying out infectious disease research.

PARTICIPANTS: None.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Twenty academic institutions receiving greatest sum investments across infection are included here, also NHS sites, Sanger Institute, Health Protection Agency and the Medical Research Council. We measured total funding, median award size, disease areas and position of research along the R&D value chain.

RESULTS: Included institutions accounted for £2.1 billion across 5003 studies. Imperial College and University of Oxford received the most investment. Imperial College led the most studies. The Liverpool and London Schools of Tropical Medicine had highest median award size, whereas the NHS sites combined had many smaller studies. Sum NHS funding appears to be declining over time, whilst university income is relatively stable. Several institutions concentrate almost exclusively on pre-clinical research. In some areas, there is clearly a leading institution, e.g. Aberdeen and mycology research or UCL and antimicrobial resistance.

CONCLUSION: UK institutions carry out research across a wide range of infectious disease areas. This analysis can identify centres of excellence and help inform future resource allocation for research priorities. Institutions can use this analysis for establishing expertise within their groups, identifying external collaborators and informing local research strategy.

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