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Strategic Project Awards launched

21 December 2009

A new funding initiative is set to drive forward research collaboration between the three National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Centres associated with King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre, in order to work towards understanding the links between mental and physical health and high quality patient outcomes.

The specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the King’s Patient Safety and Service Quality Research Centre at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – all linked to King’s College London as their academic partner - have come together to deliver up to four cross-centre translational research projects, which demonstrate collaboration, scientific excellence and the likelihood of high-impact outcomes for patients.

Each project that successfully secures a BRC Strategic Project Award (up to £75,000) is likely to be an innovative research idea requiring proof of concept data in order to attract more substantial external funding. The project must involve cross-centre collaborative working with both the comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre and the specialist Biomedical Research Centre and ideally also with the King’s Patient Safety and Service Quality Research Centre (King’s PSSQ).

Professor Simon Lovestone, Director of the specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health said: "This new stream of funding will enable up to four collaborative research groups working across the individual Biomedical Research Centres to get exciting, high-quality ‘proof of concept’ projects off the ground, making them much more attractive to external funding bodies. We’re hugely excited by the potential of this initiative."

Professor Graham Lord, Deputy Director of the comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, said: "A huge amount of translational research is already taking place at the individual centres, but there are untapped opportunities for the joint use of the resources and expertise available within the individual centres to drive forward exciting collaborative projects which will impact on patient care in the future."

Naomi Fulop, Centre Director, King’s PSSQ comments; "This funding provides a fantastic opportunity to bring the three Research Centres associated with King’s Health Partners together to explore innovative research projects. Safety and service quality are ever increasing priorities for patients, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to build these factors into translational biomedical research across the partner organisations."

This is a joint call being hosted by the specialist and comprehensive BRCs.  It is open to all NIHR BRC members associated with the NHS Trusts at King's Health Partners.  For projects being led through the sBRC, it is appropriate for the relevant sponsor to be an sBRC Theme Lead(s).  Please indicate in the application form which relevant cBRC theme(s) and King's PSSQ Centre programmes the project will be collaborating through.  Applications from members of the sBRC should be sent to Dr Saliha Afzal and application form and selection criteria can be obtained from

For more details about the funding available, eligibility and selection criteria, visit: The deadline for applications is 31 January 2010. Applications will be considered by the NIHR BRC Strategic Advisory Board at King’s College London.

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