College part of new NIHR School for Public Health Research

April 17, 2012

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD) is one of just eight health research institutions in England to be chosen as a collaborator in the new National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research.

The new School aims to build closer relations between researcher and public health practitioners. It will place emphasis on what works practically, can be applied across the whole country and meets the needs of policy makers, practitioners and the public.

It will help the public health system to develop in the future by: narrowing the gap between those who supply public health and those who benefit from it; increasing the evidence base for effective public health practice; carrying out 'applied translational research' (where there is a direct link between research and its use in practice - so called 'bench to beside'); taking into account public health needs and assessing activities that happen regionally which could have benefit nationally.

The NIHR School for Public Health Research was a commitment within the White Paper "Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our Strategy for Public Health in England".

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry will contribute via its core areas of research, which include the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions, innovative approaches to promoting healthy lifestyles, understanding the relationship between environment and health, and reducing morbidity and disability in later life.

The PCMD lead for the NIHR School for Public Health Research will be Professor David Melzer. David is supported by Professor Charles Abraham as deputy PCMD lead. David and Charles represent PCMD on the new Research School Executive. David said: "We took part in a competition for academic institutions with a strong track record in applied research and evaluative practice in public health. We were assessed by an independent panel on the basis of the quality of our research, our critical mass of expertise and the relevance of our current work. I am delighted that the PCMD team has been successful and that we will be able to invest £1.6m over five years to improve public health research within PCMD. Congratulations to my colleagues for an excellent achievement . We look forward to contributing to the improvement and development of public health services in England."

The NIHR will support the further development of work carried out by PCMD and the other academic institutions in the new School to the tune of £20m over a five-year period - £1.6m of that will come to the South West.

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry

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