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University of Leicester to host pharmacy research ‘incubator’ with £120k funding

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University of Leicester to host pharmacy research ‘incubator’ with £120k funding

Professor Debi Bhattacharya

The University of Leicester has announced the launch of a new initiative that will fund pharmacy professionals to support academic research “in areas where there is a national need”.

The university is hosting the Pharmacy Professionals Incubator with the help of £120,000 in funding from the National Institute of Care and Research (NIHR), which is funding 10 incubators in total from January 2024.  

The Pharmacy Professionals Incubator – described as a “collaboration of nine Universities across the UK, several hospitals and community pharmacies working with patients and members of the public” – will be led by professor Debi Bhattacharya from the University of Leicester School of Healthcare.

The 10 NIHR incubators are virtual and tailored to specific communities. Funding will be used to help stakeholders “identify barriers to research capacity and find solutions” in order to attract and train researchers to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future,” according to a statement.

Professor Bhattacharya said: “Pharmacy is the third largest health profession in the UK and pharmacists are the experts in medicines. However, they are awarded only a tiny fraction of NHS research funding. Given that medicines are the cornerstone of health treatment, we are delighted that the NIHR has awarded three years of funding to boost research within the pharmacy profession.

“Our incubator team comprising members of the public, researchers, research funders, practitioners and employers will be working with a wide range of stakeholders to design new ways to support pharmacy professionals to do research, and implement those across the UK.”

Associate dean of NIHR Academy, professor Anne-Maree Keenan said: “I am delighted to announce the funding for these 10 Incubators which will help overcome barriers to early career researchers in these areas. They will work closely with the community to address their needs and play an important role in supporting under-represented groups and areas of research most in need. 

“I am excited to see the positive changes they can make. They will help the NIHR shine a spotlight on these crucial areas and think creatively about how to solve the issues that they face.”

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