Manchester and Monash scientists share research funding awards

International research collaborations to improve the health of pregnant women, prevent older people in hospital from having falls and enable early detection of hearing problems have all been awarded funding through a unique UK/Australian partnership.

Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) and Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre celebrated their recently established international partnership by launching the £50,000 Manchester and Monash Collaborative Fund (MMCF).

The aim is to support projects that would be strengthened by collaboration between the two organisations, with the ultimate goal of securing major sustainable funding for these studies.

The MMCF award bids were judged against several criteria, including providing an opportunity to exchange ideas and best practice on an international scale, introducing new technology, strategies or processes and their focus on the development of joint educational programmes.

From a strong shortlist of eight applications, the three winning bids were:

  • A project to bring together the Manchester Maternal and Fetal Health Centre and The Ritchie Centre at Monash to collaborate on a research programme to accelerate the clinical application of discovery science to improve the health of pregnant women. (Dr Edward Johnstone & Dr Ryan Hodges)
  • The development of new high frequency automated tests for early detection of age-related and noise-induced hearing loss among adults, which will have clinical, educational, commercial and research applications. (Prof David Moore and Prof Kevin Munro)
  • A study to assess the views of patients, carers, health professionals and the public on different approaches to preventing falls among patients in acute care, ranging from using physical or pharmacological restraints to bed rails, alarms and patient sitters to limit the mobility of patients. (Associate Prof Terry Haines, Prof Chris Todd, Prof Alison Hutchison)

These inaugural MMCF projects will each receive £15,000 in pump priming funding to run a 12 month study, generating initial results that will then enable the teams to bid for larger grants to take their work to the next stage.

“Congratulations to the very deserving winners,” said Prof Colin Sibley, Research Director at MAHSC. “The panel of experts which judged the shortlisted bids was very impressed by the extent of the international collaboration and the quality of the proposals. All the studies will have real impact on patients’ lives, and have the potential to change clinical practice and policy not just in Australia and the UK but worldwide.”

Added Prof Michael Wright, Managing Director of Monash Partners: “The MMCF is our first major project since we established a formal collaboration between the two Centres, and the excellent response from researchers to the opportunity is very encouraging. We are exploring a variety of other opportunities to work together, and hopefully the MMCF awards will become a regular event.”

In the UK, AHSC status is designated by the Department of Health as a mark of recognition for centres of international excellence in research, healthcare, education and collaboration with industry. Manchester is the only region outside of the South East of England to achieve this status following the partnering in 2008 of The University of Manchester, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS FoundationTrust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Monash Partners was designated as an AHSC by Australia’s Victorian Government in 2013 and shares a similar structure to MAHSC; it includes Alfred Health, Baker IDI, Burnet Institute, Cabrini Health, Epworth Health Care, Monash University, Prince Henry’s Institute and Monash Health.


For further information please contact:
Sarah Glenister, Communications Specialist,
MAHSC. Tel: +44(0)161 701 0435 (Mon, Tues, Fri); or +44 (0)161 306 1695 (Wed, Thurs).

MAHSC (the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre) is a partnership between The University of Manchester and six NHS organisations. Our NHS partners are some of the most highly rated NHS Trusts in the country, and The University of Manchester is one of the top five UK research universities (RAE 2014). We are proud to be one of only six centres in the country currently designated as an AHSC. AHSC designation recognises excellence across research, innovation, education and patient service, and in particular the potential to excel in translational medicine.

Through partnership with the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network, MAHSC acts as a beacon within the local health system, providing clinical leadership and helping health care organisations reap the benefits of research and innovation to drive improvements in care.

The MAHSC partners are:

• The University of Manchester

• Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

• Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust

• Salford CCG (formerly NHS Salford) as lead representative for GM CCGs

• Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

• The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

• University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust