A small village on the coastal line in Cornwall [shutterstock_87644971]

The University of Plymouth is part of a £5million research collaboration that will help improve people’s health and wellbeing in Cornwall.
Cornwall Council has been awarded £4.96m by the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) to fund a Health Determinant Research Collaboration (HRDC) in the county.
Running over a five-year period, the HDRC aims to build capacity in the Council and its partners to accelerate research and develop innovative solutions to promoting health and well-being in the county.
The Cornwall HDRC is one of 11 announced by the NIHR, adding to 13 established last year – including one in Plymouth, in which the University is also a partner.
It will also build on research already being carried out through the University’s Centre for Coastal Communities and Centre for Health Technology.

The establishment of Cornwall HDRC is a very welcome development for the Peninsula. There is growing awareness that peripheral coastal and rural areas are facing unique health challenges but little evidence to date of the specific solutions that such areas require to address the wider determinants of health.

Sheena AsthanaSheena Asthana
Director of Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research

We are delighted to be able to bring our expertise in supporting partners in health and care service delivery in building research capacity through innovative methods such as the use of researchers in residence and research practitioners. It is exciting and fulfilling to work with statutory and community partners to build capacity for locally relevant and impactful research.

Penelope WelbournePenelope Welbourne
Associate Professor in Social Work

The successful HDRC bid was led by Cornwall Council in partnership with the Universities of Plymouth, Exeter, Falmouth and the Cornwall Voluntary Sector Forum.
The funding comes into place in January 2024, and will initially be used to create new jobs and provide career development opportunities. Further funding will also be used to secure more research grants for the partnership.
As part of the collaboration a Citizens Research Group will also be established, which will work with communities and people in Cornwall to help shape and develop shared priorities.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for adult social care and health, Andy Virr said:
“This is great news and means that we can work with local universities, communities and organisations to do more research on issues that affect people in Cornwall. This will help us to accelerate research and develop innovative solutions to tackle these issues so that residents can live a healthier life.”
Director of Public Health Rachel Wigglesworth said:
“The wider determinants of health include things like employment, housing, education and the physical environment. By understanding how these factors are affecting people we can make sure that decisions made for people in Cornwall are based on what is really affecting people’s health and wellbeing. This major investment is a great opportunity to develop Cornwall as an area for public health research and innovation.”

Faculty of Health

Exceptional clinical and academic learning, social engagement and research in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology and health professions.
First choice for health video screenshot