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NIHR ARC Wessex awards eight Academy members following a £1.2 million investment in health research.

More than £1.2 million has been invested in creating new health researchers in Wessex.

Last year ARC Wessex was awarded £9 million by the NIHR to run a five-year research programme until October 2024. Just one of the main objectives of the ARC is to leave a legacy of research improvement, and that means creating more skilled researchers. These Academy memberships fund PhDs for eight people working in health or social care.

NIHR ARC Wessex (Applied Research Collaboration) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research and works across organisations to carry out practical (applied) research that is focused on making a difference to the health and care of people in the region. The NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) supports and funds health research across England and is led by the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

Cathy Bowen is the ARC Wessex Lead for Training, based at the School of Health Sciences at University of Southampton: “This result is beyond our initial expectations. We have been able to create eight ARC Academy members who will go on to grow the number excellent applied health research projects in Wessex.

We are pleased that Bournemouth, Southampton and Winchester universities along with the support of Portsmouth have shown how we can diversify opportunity and promote excellence.

The work done by ARC Wessex team to engage across our community has been amazing. Our patient and public contributors really made the difference in picking out the final eight applicants. The application panel were impressed by the high quality of applications and innovation.”

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