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Funding supports researchers to make real-world impacts with their research

Our latest Changing Policy and Practice awardees

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We're delighted to announce five new Changing Policy and Practice Awards. This funding will allow our awardees to share their research findings and recommendations with patients, healthcare practitioners, and policymakers.

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Our Changing Policy and Practice Awards, which we make twice a year, are designed to ensure that discoveries made through Foundation or Medical Research Council (MRC)-funded research can reach beyond the scientific press.

These awards, of up to £30,000, provide extra support to researchers to maximise the real-world impact of their research, with the aim of influencing healthcare and behaviour.

Read about the awarded projects below:

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Professor Julie Balen and Professor Simon Rushton Professor Julie Balen and colleague, Professor Simon Rushton.

Strengthening Nepal's health system

Professor Julie Balen from Canterbury Christ Church University will disseminate findings from her research into the federalisation of the health system in Nepal.

In 2015, Nepal became a federal democratic republic with three tiers of government: local, provincial, and federal - significantly impacting its health system. Professor Balen worked closely with stakeholders in policy-making and healthcare delivery to understand their perspectives and experiences of this change.

Professor Balen and her team will also use the award to facilitate a bespoke training and capacity-building programme for local leaders to develop skills in health system leadership. This will reach over 120 local leaders and administrators who will gain knowledge and experience in health system governance, and will - in turn - help increase the system’s capacity to manage and deliver health services in a federal Nepal.

Read more here

Dr Lucia D’Ambruoso Dr Lucia D’Ambruoso

Empowering community healthcare in South Africa

Dr Lucia D’Ambruoso from the University of Aberdeen will build on her research into the concept of community participation in healthcare in rural South Africa.

The Verbal Autopsy with Participatory Action Research (VAPAR) project has developed an intervention supporting Community Health Workers in South Africa to gain skills in community mobilisation.

Dr D'Ambruoso's team plans to extend this intervention across the province, reaching a population of 4.4 million. They also intend to share their learnings at provincial and national levels to facilitate policy and strategy changes.

Read more here

Professor Andrew Shennan Professor Andrew Shennan

Reducing the impact of pre-eclampsia in Zambia and India

Professor Andrew Shennan from King’s College London has conducted research into pre-eclampsia - a serious condition which causes high blood pressure and organ damage during pregnancy.

Working in India and Zambia, his team found that early birth reduced the risk of severe illness caused by pre-eclampsia, and the chance of infant death, by 75 per cent.

Professor Shennan plans to use this funding to influence policy in government, healthcare and community settings, and to share key information about pre-eclampsia with women through documentary films and other educational materials across India and Zambia.

Read more here

Professor Craig Anderson Professor Craig Anderson

Improving the management of acute stroke

Using this award, Professor Craig Anderson from the University of New South Wales, Australia, hopes to change the way acute stroke from intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is managed globally.

Patients who experience an acute stroke from ICH have historically not been managed with the same urgency and level of coordinated care as patients with the more common acute ischaemic stroke, that arises from blockage of a blood vessel in the brain.

So far, there has been no proven treatment for ICH, so clinicians have often had little confidence in therapies, and frequently have had to implement end-of-life care for these patients.

Professor Craig Anderson undertook research into ICH. INTERACT3 was a landmark clinical trial involving over 7,000 patients with ICH at 122 hospitals in 10 countries which provided reliable evidence that ICH is a treatable condition.

This grant will support education, training, and quality improvement initiatives to accelerate the implementation of active care protocols for ICH. This could help ensure patients receive timely and coordinated treatment to improve their chances of survival and reduce disability after experiencing an ICH.

Read more here

Dr Cally Tann Dr Cally Tann

Promoting 'Kangaroo Mother Care' in Uganda

Neonatal health in Uganda has been the research focus of Dr Cally Tann from the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Uganda Research Unit. Dr Tann explored the effects of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) on the health of newborn Ugandan babies, especially pre-term babies.

KMC is a WHO-recommended package of care where the newborn is carried, usually by the mother, with skin-to-skin contact, and has been shown to increase survival among small vulnerable newborns.

Dr Tann's findings highlighted potential issues with implementation of KMC in Uganda. Significantly, many hospitals have little or no space for neonatal inpatient care, and governments across Africa are raising questions about affordability, required infrastructure, and resources needed.

With the Changing Policy and Practice funding, Dr Tann and her team will disseminate their findings to support national usage of KMC care in Uganda.

Read more here

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Changing Policy and Practice

Read more about our Changing Policy and Practice Awards, and find out how to apply for funding.

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