The UKCRC has coordinated joint funding initiatives designed to strengthen specific areas of health research. A number of other partnerships of funders and research related organisations are involved in similar coordination activities:
UK Age Research Forum (UKARF)
The major aim of the UK Age Research Forum (UKARF) is to improve the coordination and forward planning of research on ageing and the elderly. The forum has a broad membership across research councils, charities and government departments. UKARF grew out of the Forum for Research on Ageing and Older People (FFAORP) established in 2001.
National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI)
The NCRI is a UK-wide partnership between government, charity and industry which promotes cooperation in cancer research among its 21 member organisations for the benefit of patients, the public and the scientific community. NCRI helps with joint planning and coordination among its members. It focuses on areas where progress could not be achieved by a single member organisation on its own.
Specifically, the NCRI:
- Maintains a Cancer Research Database, and undertakes analyses of what research is being done – this informs decisions about new research;
- Develops research initiatives on specific topics, to which a group of members will contribute (eg, programmes in prostate cancer or in cancer prevention);
- Helps to coordinate clinical trials and experimental cancer medicine research within networks throughout the UK – this boosts clinical trials; and
- Develops facilities and resources for research (eg, the collection of tumour samples or trying to make the management of research data more effective, ie. informatics).
National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI)
The NPRI is a national initiative made up of government departments, research councils and major medical charities that are working together to encourage and support research into chronic disease prevention. Its core aim is to develop and implement successful, cost- effective interventions that reduce people’s risk of developing major diseases by influencing their health behaviours. The consortium was brought together by the National Cancer Research Institute in 2004. It is managed by the Medical Research Council.