Substantial advances have been made over the last decade in preventing and treating disease, but discovery science and biomedical research, essential for the advancement of medicine, remain disproportionately focused upon adult conditions. This has prompted the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) to launch a Children’s Health Research Capacity Development Fund to support a growth in the number of child health researchers in the U.K. and abroad.
Failure to advance knowledge of the determinants of health in infancy and childhood will have catastrophic consequences on adult health in years to come, and is already adding substantially to the burden placed on health services, doctors say.
The Children’s Health Capacity Research Fund will support the career development and training of gifted young child health researchers in the U.K. and abroad and help them become the research leaders of the future. It will also help strengthen long term collaborative links between U.K. research institutions and centers of excellence abroad in order to benefit the wellbeing of infants’ children and young people around the world.
The Fund has benefited from an initial generous contribution from the David Baum International Foundation. It will sit as a distinct Fund within the RCPCH and will be administered by a designated board which will include the President of the RCPCH and an independent chair.
Professor Neena Modi, president of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said, “There have been inexorable rises in the prevalence of chronic, debilitating, non-communicable disease in adult populations that are crippling health economies and systems. The origins of these conditions often lie in early development and the solutions require strong basic science and biomedical research that includes infants and children.
“The creation of the Children’s Health Research Capacity Fund will support the training of a new generation of children’s research leaders. It will complement and add value to funding streams that already exist within the National Institute of Health Research, research charities, and other organizations.
“It takes around 15 years after leaving medical school to train a clinical researcher. The creation of the RCPCH Children’s Health Research Capacity Development Fund will enable us to provide essential support to help talented young clinician and non-clinician scientists to become research leaders.”