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The United Kingdom Child Health Research Collaboration
  1. Lindsey Hunter1,
  2. Angela Mensah1,
  3. Matthew Jordan1,
  4. Neena Modi1,2,
  5. Anne Greenough1,3,4
  1. 1 Department of Research and Policy, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Medicine, Section of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
  3. 3 Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, MRC-Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King’s College London, London, UK
  4. 4 NIHR Biomedical Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Anne Greenough, NICU, 4th Floor Golden Jubilee Wing, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK; anne.greenough{at}

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Research is essential to advance the science of paediatrics and improve the health and well-being of children. Importantly, many of the determinants of poor adult health have their origins in early life. In 2012, the report ‘Turning the Tide’ from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)1 highlighted that the evidence base for child specific treatments was sparse. It was highlighted that only 5% of the annual UK public and charitable research expenditure was allocated to children, approximately £2.2 billion, which is equivalent to less than £10 per child per year.1 The report called for all those parties involved in research to come together to develop a national vision to ensure that child health research was given the same importance as adult research.1 The report made a number of recommendations including expansion of research posts, support for parents’ and young people’s advocacy, improved research training for paediatric trainees and collaboration between children’s research charities.1 Those recommendations were further emphasised in the report ‘A healthy nation: strengthening child health research in the UK’.2 This article highlights how collaboration between children’s research charities has been taken forward.

The United Kingdom Child Health Research Collaboration (UKCHRC) was formally launched in January 2015 at the Wellcome Trust following a series of workshops held earlier at the Medical Research Council (MRC). The UKCHRC is a partnership of funders of child health research (box 1). Administrative support is provided by the RCPCH. Meetings are held biannually at one of the charities’ headquarters. In 2016, the UKCHRC met at the British Heart Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and in 2017 the meeting was at the British Lung Foundation. Each charity retains their own identity, …

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  • Contributors NM identified the need for a collaboration of research funders. AG and MJ have supported its development. NM led the establishment of joint RCPCH-MRC training awards. AM led the creation of the funding database and LH the development of the Infant’s, Children and Young People’s Research Charter. All authors were involved in the production of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The data can be open for sharing if required.