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Social Care Research Centre: University of Birmingham in a New £10 Million Funding Award

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The University of Birmingham will be part of a collaboration of five universities, high profile care sector partners, and international research teams in this new Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) research centre. The centre will provide an extensive array of evidence to address pressures and inequities in how people experience social care across the lifecourse.

The prestigious award is part of the ESRC’s programme of six new research centres that can deliver real societal and economic impact, and provide robust research evidence to support government and decision-making. ESRC’s award for the Centre for Care includes £1.5 million provided through its partnership with the National Institute for Health Research. In its first five years, the collaborating universities will also jointly contribute an additional £1.2 million to the new centre.

The collaboration is led by the University of Sheffield. As well as the University of Birmingham, it includes the Universities of Kent and Oxford, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the Office for National Statistics, and charities Carers UK, the National Children’s Bureau, and the Social Care Institute for Excellence. They will work together with academics, sector partners, agencies, public policy experts, and people who need or provide care across the UK and internationally.

Birmingham lead for the Centre, Professor Catherine Needham, in the University’s School of Social Policy, says: ‘The Centre for Care is an exciting opportunity to build a long-term programme of research into social care that enables people to flourish. Too much of the discussion on social care is on short term fixes for a crisis. The Centre will enable us to move beyond this, working with partners and people with lived experience, to support research that makes a difference to people’s lives.’

Fully operational from March 2022, the centre will bring together some 50 scholars: leading experts on care in multiple disciplines; 12 new post-doctoral researchers, based in the five universities; a large group of PhD students, including six commencing new studies of care in autumn 2022. Advised by a board of leading and diverse experts on care, the centre will produce major new studies of care and build a new generation of care specialists for the years ahead.

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