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An afternoon of global health with ResIn and RSTMH

Free event – An afternoon of global health with ResIn and RSTMH
Monday 18 September, 3:15pm – 4:45pm
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus
All welcome!

Click here to register

Preceded by a brief introduction from Professor David Wilson, Associate Dean for Internationalisation, this event will include two talks –

a) Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Strategy Launch – RSTMH Chief Executive, Tamar Ghosh, will present the Society’s new strategy, including information about several new activities including mentoring, education and training. There will also be time to discuss the benefits of RSTMH membership which include journal access, a calendar of scientific and social events, plus a well-established grants round.

b) Presentation of the results of the Southampton-led Research Investments in Global Health Study (ResIn).
Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and enthusiastically received by (among others) the World Health Organisation, Dr’s Michael Head and Rebecca Brown have analysed 16 years of data on global infectious disease funding. How much funding goes to HIV research compared to tuberculosis? Is pneumonia an under-funded and neglected area? What does the research landscape look like for malaria investments in sub-Saharan Africa? What can we learn from the historical financing of research for Ebola? What should the research landscape look like going forward, and how should we in the global health community be setting future priorities?

This event is open to colleagues both within the University of Southampton and externally. Everybody is welcome!

Location – Senate Room, 4th floor, building 37, Highfield campus of the University of Southampton.

Webpage to register –

Click here for a pdf flyer of the event. 

ResIn original research in Lancet Global Health – malaria investments in Africa

The latest analysis from the Research Investments in Global Health study has been published in The Lancet Global Health. This work covered malaria investments for R&D and funding for malaria control, and focused on their geographical distribution around sub-Saharan Africa.

Our research showed that countries that receive higher levels of funding for malaria-related research also typically receive higher levels of funding for malaria control (non-research investments). Thus, nations such as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are relatively well-funded compared to nations such as Chad, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone. We discuss some of the likely reasons for this and consider further analyses that underpin these findings, and add pragmatic commentary on potential ways forward.

The paper is open-access and available here. Suggested citation –

Head MG, Goss S, Gelister Y et al. Inequalities in investments: a systematic analysis of global funding trends for malaria research in sub-Saharan AfricaThe Lancet Global Health. 2017. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(17)30245-0

First full ResIn article on cancer research investments

We are pleased to announce the first ResIn publication covering UK cancer research investments. It is published in BMJ Open, and the full open-access publication can be found by clicking here.

We assessed thousands of research projects covering all types of cancer, and identify areas of research strength in the UK and areas where the portfolio is relatively weak. Breast and prostate cancers, for example, received relatively high investment compared to burden of disease whilst there was little funding for cancer of the liver, thyroid, lung, upper GI tract and bladder, despite high burdens of disease. Around two-thirds of the investment is for pre-clinical science.


New ResIn publication – R&D funding for Ebola

As part of the Research Investments in Global Health study (ResIn,, you may be interested in this our recent paper, led by colleague Joseph Fitchett and with Rifat Atun as senior author – we described funding for ebola R&D in the years prior to the 2014 outbreak and the responsive funding during the first year of the outbreak, covering $1 billion of investments from US and UK government, Wellcome, Gates etc. We’ve charted the funder, destination of those funds, and what they’re for (e.g. vaccine, diagnostics, therapeutics).

Now published ‘online first’ at Journal of Global Health

Paper is here –

PDF is here –

ResIn meetings report published in BMC Proceedings

We are pleased to announce the publication of our meetings report in the open-access BMC Proceedings. This report covers three workshops held at the Wellcome Trust (London), UK Research Offices (Brussels) and the World Health Organisation (Geneva), set up to discuss the methods and results to date of the Research Investments in Global Health (ResIn) study, and to consider best ways forward for the project. Over 50 individuals attended from some of the world’s leading funders, policymakers, academic institutions and professional groups.

See the BMC Proceedings website for the report.

Suggested citation –
Head MG, Brown RJ. The activity of the Research Investments in Global Health study and ways forward within the global funding and policy landscape. BMC Proceedings. 2016. 10(Suppl 8):59. doi: 10.1186/s12919-016-0065-2



Assessing funding for AMR research in South Korea

The Research Investments in Global Health (ResIn) study were delighted to collaborate with public health researchers in South Korea (Republic of Korea) on an analysis of R&D funding related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Our original article has been published in the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. We assessed 198 project reports that had a total funding of US$18.3 million. Much of the funding (61.5%) was for implementation and operational research, and universities were the lead institutions for 73.2% of the awards. There was little funding for projects that had a focus on global health, and few projects had a focus on specific pathogens.

Suggested citation –  Ryu SH, Head MG, Kim BI, Hwang JC, Cho EH. Are we investing wisely? A systematic analysis of nationally funded antimicrobial resistance projects in Korea, 2003-2013. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. 2016. doi:10.1016/j.jgar.2016.03.007


ResIn is offering bursaries for two summer students in 2016!

The Research Investments in Global Health study (ResIn) is delighted to have won a small grant from the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene! This will allow us to host two students this summer on paid bursaries at the University of Southampton, to pilot methods that combine research investment analyses with geospatial techniques. These placements would suit medical, MSc/Bsc, nursing students etc (all scientific disciplines considered, recent graduates or more experienced colleagues between posts will also be considered). For the geospatial activity, experience in GIS, geography and/or associated disciplines will be required.

More information…

We have available two (non-laboratory) research placements at the university this summer, one based at Southampton General Hospital in the Faculty of Medicine, and one (most likely) located at the university Highfield campus. The bursaries will each be £1600 for 10 weeks (pro-rata payment for shorter placement will be considered). Timing is flexible across July to October.

Project title – Combining research investments analyses and malaria maps in Africa – are we investing limited resources wisely? Part of the Research Investments in Global Health study, ResIn,

People involved – Michael Head (project lead, main supervisor), Stuart Clarke, Becky Brown (Faculty of Medicine, Southampton), Andy Tatem (Geography, Southampton), Joseph Fitchett (Harvard)

Background – The study is analysing global trends in funding for infectious disease research. We are currently collating research funding data from all the nations in the G20 and analysing the individual awards for relevance to infection, and then categorising them under diseases and disease areas, pathogens and type of science. In 12-18 months’ time we will have finalised a large global dataset of funding trends over the last 15 years and be able to identify areas of national and international research strength, areas of funding neglect, and be able to inform the R&D agenda of how to distribute limited financial resources as equitably as possible.

See  for our latest paper on mapping the UK funding landscape, and for the rest of our publications to give an idea of the sort of work we produce.

Placement activity of student handling the research funding data –  Here, we are going to focus on research investment data from the world’s leading global health funders. Some of this is already extracted and categorised, some of which the research funding student will need to collate and categorise (full supervision and support provided here, of course). As well as disease categories, they will need to pick out the awards with a geographical focus in sub-Saharan Africa e.g. ‘malaria vaccines trial in Kenya’. They will need to find out as precisely as possible where that research was taking place (reading study abstract, googling, institutional websites, reading published outputs related to the study etc), so it can be mapped by the geography student. There will be plenty of playing around in spreadsheets, with excel equations and manual sifting, analysis within Stata, and generating results via tables and visualisations, in order to generate some results about the extent and nature of the selected studies.

The geography/geospatial student – Having received a dataset of selected studies related to malaria that have a specified geographical focus, they will then integrate this information with existing datasets. The Malaria Atlas Project,, has mapped malaria burden to every grid square in sub-Saharan Africa.  The WorldPop data is also openly available, Using GIS/other methods, the student will produce some visualisations describing the location of where the research funding is targeted – what are the burdens, demographics and geography of these areas? This can help to answer questions such as – Are investments biased towards high transmission, sparsely populated rural areas, or high-density elimination settings? Are there geographic regions that have been neglected but could greatly benefit from being the focus of investment? Are we investing as equitably and ethically as possible?

Placement outputs
– written data and visuals;
– at least one peer-reviewed publication (on which both students would be authors);
– there is a small budget for conference attendance to present the results;
– also plans to host a meeting in London (probably at the Wellcome Trust) at the end of the project to highlight the study and results to influential funders and policymakers with an interest in this area, this is a good chance to build useful links, travel to and from London would be paid for.

Skills required – for the research investments student – a systematic approach to working with plenty of attention to detail, experience handling data in excel and any other stats/epidemiological software would be useful but not essential, interests in global health and infectious diseases (malaria in particular)
– for the geography/geospatial student – knowledge of GIS, experience with geospatial techniques, interests in global health and infectious diseases (malaria in particular)

If interested – send your CV and brief email of your background/interests in these areas to Michael Head at the University of Southampton, . Please state which of the two placements you are interested in. Deadline for expressions of interest – 31 May 2016.




New update paper – 17 year of funding trends and new global health burden metrics

The ResIn study has published a new paper that covers all 17 years of the UK dataset so far (1997-2013) and compiled some new metrics describing the comparisons between disease burden and amount of research funding going towards specific infectious diseases. We find, for example, that some of the neglected tropical diseases continue to be well-funded and could probably be described as a UK research strength; influenza also comes out well in our analysis thanks to relatively recent large investments in respiratory research. Conversely, there is still little funding available for some non-HIV sexually-transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and syphilis.

The full paper is open access, published in EBioMedicine. Click here for the manuscript.

Citation –
Head MG, Fitchett JR, Nageshwaran V, Kumari N, Hayward AC, Atun R. Research investments in global health: a systematic analysis of UK infectious disease research funding and global health metrics, 1997-2013. EBioMedicine. 2015. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.12.016

ResIn contributes to WHO R&D Observatory call for evidence

We have had our latest manuscript published in the journal Health Research Policy and Systems. This paper is the first to be published as part of the World Health Organisation R&D Observatory call for evidence.

Our article compares research investment to United Kingdom institutions with published outputs for tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. We analyse these by numbers of publications and citations and by disease and type of science, in order to identify what research is most prolific in terms of published outputs in these three disease areas.

To see our findings, click here for the full-open access paper.

And click here to see more about the R&D Observatory call for evidence