16th June 2021

Health Determinants Research Collaborations

The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme is trailing this funding opportunity.

The likely advert date for expressions of interest, is 1 September 2021. However, please note this is an indicative date, which may change.

Health Determinants Research Collaborations (HDRCs) are new elements of NIHR-funded research infrastructure based in local government. The purpose of an HDRC is to enable its host local authority (LA) to become more research-active, using evidence to inform its decision making and undertaking research and evaluation relating to its activities.

HDRCs are a UK-wide initiative; they are not limited to England only. In this context, the term local authority is used to include all equivalent structures across the UK.

All functions of a local authority have the potential to impact upon health and health inequalities. HDRC staff will therefore work across the whole organisation to identify opportunities for undertaking research and making use of research findings, developing a research culture at all levels of decision making. They will work in close collaboration with the academic sector to secure research funding and to undertake research and evaluation. The host LA may want to collaborate with other LAs for geographical or demographic reasons. HDRCs will be expected to benefit from other NIHR initiatives including research funding, support with research design and workforce development.

HDRCs will focus on what can be done to address the wider drivers of population health and health inequalities, explicitly addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups and areas within the relevant geography.

HDRCs will have a clear lead local authority and will be funded, through the NIHR’s Public Health Research programme, for five years with the possibility of extension. In the first round of HDRCs it is anticipated that around five contracts will be awarded, with an aspiration to grow the number of HDRCs over the medium-long term.


To explain the HDRC funding opportunity further, the Public Health Research (PHR) Programme will be hosting an introductory webinar on 28 June 2021, 14:00 – 15:00. To register for the webinar please email with your name, job title, organisation and any questions you would like addressed. Please register by 23 June 2021.