'UKCTAS work to continue in a new UK Prevention Research Partnership Consortium'

We are delighted to announce that UKCTAS has been successful in securing future funding through a multi-funder research initiative; the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP). UKTCAS academics joined forces with new collaborators and a range of public and private sector organisations to apply to the UKPRP. The new consortium has now been awarded £5.9 million funding over five years and is called SPECTRUM (Shaping Public hEalth poliCies To Reduce ineqUalities and harM).

UKPRP research grants aim to develop, test and refine new, practical and cost-effective approaches to preventing non-communicable diseases at scale, which will in turn help to reduce health inequalities across the UK. The initiative is supported by twelve funders from UK Research and Innovation research councils, charities and government. In its first round of funding, four Consortia and four network grants have been awarded.

The SPECTRUM Consortium is led by Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh. Co-investigators and collaborators from 10 Universities in the UK and one in Australia are included. In addition, the Consortium brings together leading alliances that aim to improve health and reduce inequalities in the UK and further afield, along with Public Health England, Health Scotland, Public Health Wales and two independent companies specialising in statistical modelling and retail data.

SPECTRUM will aim to conduct research to prevent and address harm to health from unhealthy commodities by using systems science to identify and evaluate solutions. The focus of the new Consortium will be the commercial determinants of health and health inequalities, continuing UKCTAS’s work at the population level on tobacco and alcohol, but also extending to unhealthy food and drink products where appropriate. The research will be organised around 8 inter-related Work Packages involving new research, along with knowledge exchange, impact and public engagement activities.

Prof. Linda Bauld, University of Edinburgh - Centre Director

"SPECTRUM intends to address some of the most controversial questions facing the health of our population. To reduce diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases we need to address their main preventable causes. To do so means introducing and enforcing public health policies that often clash with the business interests of very profitable companies.

SPECTRUM aims to produce research that can rise to this challenge. This research will be used by our partners outside of academia, who will be active members of SPECTRUM, to make the case for effective policy and practice to improve health and address inequalities in the UK and further afield."

SPECTRUM directors:

Prof. Linda Bauld

Bruce and John Usher
Professor of Public Health

University of Edinburgh

Prof. Marcus Munafo
(Deputy Director)

Professor of
Biological Psychology

University of Bristol

Dr. Niamh Fitzgerald
(Deputy Director)

Senior Lecturer

University of Stirling

SPECTRUM co-investigators:

Prof. Mark Petticrew

Professor of Public Health Evaluation

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Prof. Anna Gilmore

Professor of Public Health

University of Bath

Dr. Jamie Brown

Co-Director - UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group

University College London

Prof. Alan Brennan

Professor of Health Economics and Decision Modelling

University of Sheffield

Prof. Jamie Pearce

Professor of Health Geography

University of Edinburgh

Dr. Tessa Langley

Associate Professor

University of Nottingham

Prof. Ann McNeill

Professor of Tobacco Addiction

Kings College London

Prof. Jeff Collin

Professor of Global Health Policy

University of Edinburgh

Prof. John Britton

Professor of Epidemiology

University of Nottingham

Prof. Sharon Friel

Professor of Health Equity

Australian National University

Prof. Keith Syrett

Professor of Health Law and Policy

University of Bristol

Dr. Graham Moore

Reader in Social Sciences and Health

University of Cardiff

Dr. Garth Reid

Joint Head, Evidence for Action Team

NHS Health Scotland

Rosanna O’Connor

Director, Alcohol, Drugs & Tobacco

Public Health England

Martin Dockrell

Tobacco Control Programme Lead

Public Health England

Dr. Julie Bishop

Director of Health Improvement

Public Health Wales

UKPRP Funders include:

UKRI Research Councils: Medical Research Council (MRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)

Charities: British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, The Health Foundation

Government: Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office, Health and Care Research Wales, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Public Health Agency (NI)