Having obtained a long list of studies from all these funders, we individually went through the list and identified the studies that were related to infectious disease. We collected several pieces of information about each study, including the study title, the abstract (an extended summary about what the study would aim to do), the total funding awarded, the name of the lead researcher(s), and the institution that is leading the research.
We have shown how much of the total research funding is awarded to each of the main infectious diseases, or disease areas – for example, HIV, tuberculosis or hepatitis. We have also counted the research focused on the tropical infections such as malaria or the group of infections referred to as ‘neglected tropical diseases’, as well as many other infections. We have categorised the studies by the type of science (so whether they are laboratory-based projects, clinical trials or more ‘translational’ types of research that involves patients, statistics, modelling or fieldwork studies). Plus we have collected and analysed the amount of research funding awarded to individual institutions (mostly universities or NHS Trusts) for different infections, and also carried out an analysis looking at the gender of the lead researcher of each study.
We then linked the total UK investments in research with the worldwide burden of these diseases, using a measure known as ‘disability-adjusted life years’ or DALYs. Linking investment with disease burden enables us to identify disease areas that may be relatively under-funded, or also to highlight where the UK may have research strengths.
We have also made data from the study openly accessible on this website to allow it to be of maximum possible use to funders, policymakers and researchers.