GambleAware has committed £4 million in funding to help launch and establish the UK’s first ‘Academic Research Hub’ specialising in the field of gambling harms and societal impacts.
Undertaking its biggest academic commitment, GambleAware has begun its search for a single institution to help establish the hub and define its research capabilities and objectives.
“The ambition is for the Academic Research Hub to have a significant impact on the whole gambling landscape, both within Great Britain and across the globe, through the inclusion of new and diverse areas of research.” – GambleAware’s statement read.
In its mandate, GambleAware aims to broaden the range of academic disciplines researching gambling harms, which to date have been observed from a ‘social science perspective and delivered by a small number of academics’.
The dedicated hub will apply a ‘public health lens’ to the impact of gambling harms supported by a single academic institution informing wider system stakeholders on relevant insights to prevent and reduce gambling harms, addictions and behavioural disorders.
Alison Clare, Research Director at GambleAware, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for a British university to develop and innovate in a relatively under-researched field, bringing to bear a much wider range of academic disciplines than are currently engaged in gambling harms research.”
“With this significant investment, a British university and its partners will have the chance to create a step-change in building knowledge in an area which links and overlaps with many other subjects and fields.”
GambleAware revealed that it has approached top-ranking universities in R&D to apply for its grant, targeting institutions experienced in research areas relevant to studying gambling behaviours and societal harms.
Whilst the grant will be awarded to a single university, it is expected the successful institution will take a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary approach both within its own institution and externally with other academics and partners, including further international stakeholders.
GambleAware has encouraged participation from all institutions with a proven academic track record in adjacent disciplines – including but not limited to public health, mental health, health inequalities, health economics, epidemiology, clinical health and/or psychology.
“It’s a different type of grant award to the smaller projects and programmes in our current research portfolio, with GambleAware taking a much more arm’s length approach in guiding the area of research focus,” Clare added.
“Our main criteria is that universities apply a multi-disciplinary, public health lens in setting out the rationale for their chosen research area. From our early discussions with selected universities, we’re expecting some very creative and innovative proposals at the initial Expression of Interest stage.