Coordinate a programme of health inequalities research

Apply to coordinate the ‘Mobilising Cultural and Natural Assets to Combat Health Inequalities’ programme.

You must be:

  • a UK resident
  • hosted by a research organisation eligible for AHRC funding.

You will:

  • ensure that knowledge held by the National Centre for Creative Health is available to the programme’s projects
  • connect the programme’s projects with each other and with those in other programmes
  • translate academic research outputs to policy and NHS systems.

Your full economic cost can be up to £300,000. AHRC will fund 80% of the full economic cost.

The role will start in November 2021 and last 18 months.

Who can apply

Normal individual eligibility applies and can be found in section two of AHRC’s funding guide.

Applicants must be resident in the UK and be hosted by an eligible research organisation (higher education institution or recognised independent research organisation) as stated in the AHRC funding guide.

Please note that as a programme fellowship opportunity, co-investigators (including non-academic co-Investigators) are not permitted within this opportunity.

Associated studentships, international principal investigators and international co-investigators are not eligible to apply for funding through this opportunity.

What we're looking for

The aim of the present opportunity is to appoint a programme fellow, funded by AHRC, on the ‘Mobilizing Cultural and Natural Assets to Combat Health Inequalities’ programme. They will play a coordinating role across the various research investments under the wider programme.

The fellowship, which will be hosted at the National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH), will be appointed through an open competition, with the grant awarded by AHRC to the individual via their research organisation.

The NCCH is well connected in England, with an extensive network of:

  • NHS trusts
  • local authorities
  • health and wellbeing boards
  • clinical commissioning groups.

The NCCH is working in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement on a creative health partnership programme. It aims to support and capture learning of creative health approaches in four integrated care systems and subsequent opportunities for spread and scale regionally and nationally.

The NCCH’s unrivalled networks and knowledge of where local partnership building would make the biggest difference will ensure the relevant non-academic stakeholders are engaged in the programme, and that essential connections between academic research communities and integrated care systems are made.

One of the key roles of the programme fellow will be to ensure that the invaluable knowledge held by NCCH is made available to the individual award holders and networks under the wider ‘Mobilizing Cultural and Natural Assets to Combat Health Inequalities’ programme. This is in order to help fulfil the aims of the opportunity.

Responsibilities

Coordination across different projects under the wider ‘Mobilizing Cultural and Natural Assets to Combat Health Inequalities’ programme

The fellow will be responsible for:

  • facilitating cross-fertilisation between individual projects
  • monitoring and synthesising evidence from them
  • identifying areas where further evidence is needed, to feed into the development of future programmes
  • making relevant connections with other AHRC and MRC programmes and projects, and relevant programmes and projects funded by other councils within UKRI, to enable information sharing, foster new opportunities, and avoid any duplication of research.

Mobilising the impact of pilot research programmes

The fellow will be responsible for:

  • facilitating partnerships between integrated care systems (and devolved nation equivalents) and academic researchers
  • ensuring outcomes feed into the development of bids for a larger-scale multi-year programme
  • connecting arts and humanities research to other disciplines where relevant.

Translating academic research to policy and NHS systems

The fellow will be responsible for:

  • facilitation of connections between individual projects and relevant stakeholders (local authorities, NHS trusts, non-local authority-managed cultural assets)
  • advising projects on how to ensure project outcomes are applicable to relevant stakeholders
  • disseminating findings to relevant audiences, to highlight new evidence and encourage stakeholder engagement with future multi-year programme research.

Promoting the present programme’s legacy

The fellow will be responsible for:

  • supporting AHRC in developing medium to long-term plans for a potential expansion to the programme, identifying key research gaps or areas of new research activity, and making recommendations for the future role of arts and humanities in this area
  • working collaboratively with AHRC staff throughout the lifetime of the grant
  • supporting the AHRC’s portfolio in this area to ensure that its inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact are equitable, diverse, and inclusive at every level.

Skills and experience

The successful applicant will demonstrate:

  • thorough knowledge of current research on:
    • how health inequalities are developed and sustained
    • how access to cultural, environmental and other community assets improve health outcomes
    • the kinds of local partnerships and mechanisms needed to mobilise these assets in order to do so
  • a thorough grasp of the role of the arts and humanities in addressing these challenges
  • excellent leadership skills, as an individual in coordinating a team
  • experience of communication and engagement with diverse research communities and stakeholders, including:
    • well-developed networks within academia, third sector, private sector, industry and policymakers
    • a proven ability to develop and manage effective stakeholder relationships and work with people across all backgrounds, levels, sectors and disciplines
    • experience of public engagement
    • experience of project management, evaluation, and organisation of events and other engagement activities, including digital media
    • strong communication and diplomacy skills.

The fellow will be required to submit reports throughout the 18-month post, so that AHRC can monitor their progress. There will be the possibility of fellowship renewal depending on progress and strategic need.

Funding

Applicants can apply for up to £300,000 at 100% full economic cost, of which AHRC will contribute 80%. Funding is available for up to 18 months.

The budget is expected to cover:

  • the applicants’ time (minimum 0.2 full-time equivalent (FTE) required)
  • additional researcher (postdoctoral research assistant) time
  • salary costs for support, communications or policy staff
  • costs of networking, travel, dissemination, knowledge exchange and impact activity.

The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate that their team’s time commitment to the role, and any other costs, are appropriate for the activities planned.

Eligible costs include:

  • justified salary costs
  • justified travel and subsistence costs
  • justified and appropriate support staff posts and administrative staff costs
  • appropriate communications and knowledge exchange activities, such as organising stakeholder and project networking events
  • justified and appropriate project specific consumables and equipment.

The expected start date for the project funded under this announcement is 8 November 2021.

How to apply

Applications must be made using the research councils’ Joint Electronic Submission system (Je-S).

 When applying select:

  • council: AHRC
  • document type: Fellowship
  • scheme: AHRC Fellowships
  • call/type/mode: Mobilising Cultural and Natural Assets to Combat Health Inequalities Programme Fellowship

The Je-S application form must be submitted by 16:00 (UK time) on 17 August 2021. It will not be possible to submit to the opportunity after this time.

All of the required documents, as described below, must be attached to the Je-S application form as a single PDF (up to 16 sides of A4).

Any proposal that is incomplete, or does not meet AHRC’s eligibility criteria (see AHRC funding guide), will be office rejected and will not be considered.

All text-based attachments should use an Arial or other standard san-serif type font no smaller than point 11 and use standard (2cm) margins.

Case for support

Up to eight sides of A4. Comprised of a personal statement and a description of plan for coordination of the projects.

Personal statement

Up to two sides of A4, covering:

  • what the applicant will bring to the role
  • previous track record, particularly noting experience on coordinating large and interdisciplinary initiatives with strong communications, stakeholder engagement and impact activities.

Description of plan for coordination of the projects

Up to six sides of A4, including:

  • proposal of how engagement with key stakeholders will be implemented and how knowledge exchange will be promoted
  • description of how coordination and integration of the Mobilising Cultural and Natural Assets to Combat Health Inequalities projects will be implemented, including planning of events
  • indication of how broader communications for the programme will be implemented
  • management plan, including details and justification of time commitment of the coordinator (% FTE), and any support roles required. Also include an indication of other external organisation/individual resources that will be subcontracted or utilised, and confirmation of the organisation’s ability to host the activity for the duration of the grant
  • work plan for the activity including a Gantt chart and detailed proposed work plan.

Head of department statement

Up to two sides A4.

A senior leader within your host organisation (for example, a head of department) must complete a statement in support of the application. The statement should:

  • be on organisation headed paper
  • be dated
  • state the position held by the author.

The statement must include details of the following considerations:

  • identification of the key characteristics and skills that the applicant has, which the institution feels highlights the applicant’s ability to succeed as a fellow
  • the level of support that the host institution will be giving the applicant, both as a standard career development package that is open to all staff and additional support
  • details for any support beyond career development (for example, dedicated admin support or mentoring).

Justification of resources

Up to two sides A4.

A full justification of the resources requested within the proposal, which should explain how the resources requested are appropriate for the proposal and represent value for money. For example:

  • staff time
  • travel and subsistence costs
  • accommodation.

Breakdown of costs

Up to one side A4.

A full breakdown of costs must be submitted as part of the application.

CV

Up to two sides A4, plus up to one side A4 for a publication list.

For the applicant only.

Please note the following are not required as part of the application:

  • outline data management plan
  • project partners, the role requires engagement with a broad range of stakeholders.

How we will assess your application

Assessment process

Applications will be assessed by an independent panel comprising AHRC senior staff and academics with relevant experience. The AHRC reserves the right to reject any applications which are deemed out of remit or do not fit the assessment criteria.

Assessment criteria

The fit to person specification:

  • an understanding of the causes of health inequalities within the UK, and the role of the arts and humanities in addressing them
  • excellent leadership skills
  • experience of communication and engagement with diverse research communities and stakeholders, including:
    • well-developed networks within academia, third sector, private sector, industry and policymakers
    • a proven ability to develop and manage effective stakeholder relationships and work with people across all backgrounds, levels, sectors and disciplines
    • experience of public engagement
    • experience of project management, evaluation, and organisation of events and other engagement activities, including digital media
    • strong communication and diplomacy skills.

Evidence of internationally competitive academic contributions and leadership in the candidate’s field.

Experience of leading, managing or co-ordinating a large research programme or projects.

A coherent and appropriate proposed plan of activities.

Clear processes and means for engaging with, and making available findings to, target audiences, including non-academic communities

Clear plans of evidence of engagement with NCCH, including proposed ways of working alongside them within this fellowship.

The likely impact of planned outputs, communications and engagement activities.

Value for money.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.

As holders of disability confident employer status, we guarantee to assess at panel all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Contact details

Ask about this opportunity

Alexandra Coulter

Director, NCCH

Email: alexandra@ncch.org.uk

Emily Bultitude

Senior Investment Manager, AHRC

Email: HEH@ahrc.ukri.org

Additional info

Background and summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted stark health inequalities in the UK. There is evidence that access to local cultural assets and activities (including libraries and museums) and high-quality natural environments (including green and blue spaces) can improve health and thereby level up health outcomes.

Therefore, place-based approaches to public health, both intervention (including but not restricted to social prescribing) and prevention, offer new avenues to tackling health inequality.

But the evidence base for these approaches is currently insufficient to underwrite a full-scale national mobilisation of cultural and environmental assets in the service of levelling up health outcomes. We therefore need a more precise understanding of:

  • how health inequalities are developed and sustained
  • how access to cultural, environmental and other community assets improve health outcomes
  • the kinds of local partnerships and mechanisms needed to mobilise these assets in order to do so.

AHRC, in partnership with MRC, will address these needs initially through a 12-month funded programme, comprising a number of individual research and network-building projects, across 2021 and 2022.

It is hoped that this programme will be scaled up in future years, with contributions from further research councils within UKRI, although this is subject to future UKRI funding outcomes.

Before the opportunity for this one-year programme is issued, in autumn 2021, AHRC wishes to have a programme fellow in place to coordinate across different individual projects and to perform other functions, as described below.

Governance and management

The fellow will be required to work closely with AHRC and will be expected to meet regularly with staff responsible for the programme. AHRC will convene regular project meetings with the fellow to ensure that there are coherent activities covering the portfolio and to maximise the potential impact from the programme.

Knowledge exchange and collaboration

We are committed to knowledge exchange and to encouraging collaboration between researchers and the private, public and civil society sectors. We encourage academic teams to link with bodies that can help ensure research has real impact. Collaborative working benefits both the researchers and the individual or organisations involved.

Through collaboration, partners:

  • learn about each other’s expertise
  • share knowledge
  • gain an appreciation of different professional cultures.

Collaborative activity can therefore lead to a better understanding of the ways that academic research can add value and offer insights to key issues of concern for policy and practice. Knowledge exchange should not be treated as an ‘add-on’ at the end of a research project but considered before the start and built into a project.

Open access

We are committed to ensuring that our research community makes the outputs from any UKRI-funded research publicly available.

‘Open access’ aims to make the findings of publicly-funded research freely available online as soon as possible, in ways that will maximise re-use. This is central to UKRI’s ambitions for research and innovation in the UK, as sharing new knowledge has benefits for:

  • researchers
  • the wider higher education sector
  • businesses
  • others.

UKRI is currently reviewing and developing its policy on open access, including a consultation on a proposed policy. RCUK Policy on Open Access will continue to apply to research council-supported research until the outcome of the UKRI review of open access is known.

Read the UKRI open research information.

Reporting requirements

AHRC award holders (inclusive of fellowships) must ensure that all outcomes from their grant are recorded in the online researchfish system. Once a year during the grant period, and up to five years after the grant end date, award holders are required to confirm that the outcome information on researchfish is accurate and up to date.

In addition to reporting outcomes through researchfish, once a grant has ended a key findings report and a narrative impact report must be completed on researchfish as directed by UKRI.

The fellow may be required to submit further written reports to AHRC and MRC. The format of these will be communicated once the successful applicant is in place. The award holder is required to ensure that all outcome submissions comply with intellectual property rights held by parties other than the AHRC.

For further UKRI information on grant reporting please see reporting your research outcomes.

Data protection

All personal data provided to UKRI in connection with this joint funding opportunity will be processed in accordance with current data protection legislation. As this is a joint funding opportunity the information provided will be processed by:

  • the Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • the Medical Research Council
  • the Natural Environment Council
  • National Centre for Creative Health (NCCH).

Further information on how we use your personal data, and how you can exercise your rights as a data subject, can be found in the UKRI privacy notice and the NCCH Privacy Notice.

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