South Africa

Inclusive Health Research Awards – Apply by 5th February 2024

Aims & Scope

Health research needs to happen through collaboration. In order to develop new, diverse and sustainable health solutions, dialogue and participation are needed to ensure that key voices are heard and perspectives are considered when deciding what direction the scientific journey will take.

Inclusive health research is an approach where positive, respectful engagement occurs between researchers and key affected stakeholders and organisations during the lifecycle of a research project, such that the research is more likely to yield appropriate, sustainable, cost-effective, accessible solutions and these individuals and groups have a greater sense of shared ownership of the process and the outcomes.

For example, engagement may occur with patients, carers, local clinicians, scientists, experts, or patient and community/civil society groups in affected communities to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the needs, priorities. and wishes of those communities.

Equally, there could be involvement of patients, affected communities or their representatives, and health or scientific experts in the design and delivery of research to build buy-in, key relationships, trusted partnerships and, as a byproduct, transfer skills and knowledge in both directions.

A further aspect is building relationships with key stakeholders such as corporates, non-governmental organisations, healthcare providers and government departments in order to access resources, expertise and the support required to translate the research towards positive health impact.

The Inclusive Health Research awards aim to:

  • Uncover innovation and best practice in inclusive health research that has been influenced by engagement with affected communities and their expert representatives.
  • Recognise, promote and support institutions and individuals who are contributing to a diverse, patient- and affected community-inclusive research ecosystem.
  • Build a library of case studies to share — and encourage wider adoption of — new ideas and best practice in the co-production of research to advance global health equity.
  • Health equity “When all people have “the opportunity to ‘attain their full health potential’ and no one is ‘disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of their social position or other socially determined circumstance’”.”
  • To enter, write a case study telling us about the inclusive approach you take to your work and how it has, or might, lead to better outcomes and greater health equity. Ideally, co-author it with your partners.

    We will provide three prizes, each of €20,000, to the best entries as selected by our panel of expert judges. The funds must be used in line with the spirit and goals of this award to develop a more inclusive health-research ecosystem. As such, they can be used to support the development of the project towards positive impact.

    Eligible Applicants

    We welcome entries from anyone directly engaged in activities connected to health research and especially those located in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and/or representing under-served communities. We encourage applications from a range of organisations and individuals within them. Applications are to be led

    by someone who has played a key role. Approval will be needed by key partners. Eligible applicants can include:

  • Individual researchers, clinicians or research groups based at public or private institutions
  • Patient advocacy and representative groups
  • Health charities
  • Health research funders
  • Health research publishers
  • Companies
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • Government departments

    Eligible Activities

    We are seeking a diverse range of applications demonstrating inclusive thinking and action during the health-research process. The project must have occurred within 10 years of the application deadline, i.e., 2nd February 2014.

    Projects do not need to be initiated by researchers, but may be the result of engagement initiated and developed by any of the eligible entities previously listed. Collaborations and initiatives within and across the public and private sectors are welcome. We are looking for examples which demonstrate best practice as well as new and innovative approaches.

    We are particularly keen to receive applications in relation to:

  • Historically under-served patient groups and communities.
  • Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), — i.e., countries identified by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as having low-income or middle-income economies.
    Prizes
  • Three winners will be selected by our panel of expert judges and will each receive a prize of €20,000, plus coverage on nature.com (the format and amount to be determined at the sole discretion of Springer Nature).

    The research of shortlisted candidates will be featured in the open access Case Study Library.

    What are we looking for?

    The main part of the application takes the form of a case study.

    We expect that case studies will fall into two broad formats:

  • Health need — focused on a specific patient population or community and associated unmet health needs
  • More inclusive research ecosystem — focused on initiatives relating to changes in policies or working practices that support a more inclusive health-research ecosystem, particularly, but not limited to, funding practices, publishing, communicating and other framing activities.

    Case studies will be evaluated on the basis of evidence appropriate to the case study and include:

  • Inclusivity and engagement with patients, affected communities and their representatives
  • Clear identification of specific health needs
  • Relationship building to support co-production of research and sense of ownership by community stakeholders and/or partners
  • Advocacy of inclusive approaches and culture change within teams and organisations
  • Targeting historically under-served communities and patient groups
  • Development and adoption of best practice or innovative/disruptive approaches

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; Inclusive Health Research Awards

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