Research fire power brought to bear on most pressing societal concerns of our time

‘One of the most exciting academic initiatives in the world’ will open its doors next month.

The £3.1m Wolfson Centre will bring health experts together under one roof

The £3.1m Wolfson Centre is close to completion. June 2019

A partnership between Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Universities of Leeds and Bradford has led to the development of the £3.1m Wolfson Centre at the Bradford Royal Infirmary site.

The project has been made possible thanks to £1m in funding from national charity The Wolfson Foundation, which awards grants to support and promote excellence in the fields of science, medicine, the arts and humanities, education and health and disability.

Health researchers based at the centre will see their work applied in practice across the city, and by clinical staff on site, to help provide better health, education and social care for people across Yorkshire. The centre will also help connect academics with charities and other organisations.

Professor Mark Mon-Williams (School of Psychology, Leeds) said: “This is one of the most exciting academic initiatives in the world.

“Bradford has positioned itself as the ‘City of Research’ and is home to an internationally leading longitudinal birth cohort study – Born in Bradford – involving 30,000 people across the city. The Wolfson Centre will allow the two universities and their NHS partner to unite around our shared moral purpose and civic responsibilities. It will enable our academics to bring their research fire power to bear on the most pressing societal concerns of our time.

“The centre will allow the universities to coordinate their efforts to improve health and wellbeing across the region, and ensure our shared learning shapes local and central government policies. Most importantly, it will provide a shared space where we can co-produce research and create a population of citizen scientists committed to understanding how we can improve the health and wellbeing of a city.”

New level in collaboration 

Professor John Wright, Director of Bradford Institute of Health Research (BIHR) and new Director of the centre, said: “During the past ten years, BIHR has been working in close partnership with the Universities of Leeds and Bradford to establish the leading centre for applied health research in the UK.

“Our focus on health issues that matter to our communities and our policy makers, such as ageing, childhood and patient safety, has ensured we are undertaking research that is useful and impactful. The Wolfson Centre takes us to a new level in collaboration and allows us to become an international centre of excellence.”

Professor John Bridgeman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer, University of Bradford, said: “The intent of the Wolfson collaboration is to do things differently so we can extract more value from the research base and deliver greater patient benefits and outcomes for the region.

“By combining the expertise of health researchers with clinicians who have daily contact with patients, the centre will ensure its findings are put rapidly into practice – resulting in better health and social care for those who need it most. At the University of Bradford, the Wolfson Centre will make an important contribution to our research activities and partnerships, and the critical role we play in the city of Bradford and the health and wellbeing of the local population.”

Talking about the building project itself, Len Wilson, Deputy Director for Estate Services, said: “This was an exemplar scheme, both in design and construction. The successful relationship between the three partner organisations has enabled the building to be delivered on time and on budget.”

Posted in: