Our Research and Development Grants programme for 2013 is now closed
The programme will re-open in Autumn 2013, please sign up to our newsletter for updates
To see a list of grants funded in the 2013 and 2011 round, go to our current grant holders page
Our current priority areas for funding are:
Identification, Treatment and recovery
We invited research exploring ‘what works’ in identification, treatment and recovery. In particular, research identifying common factors in effective treatment as well as exploring and evaluating recovery-based programmes. We also considered studies of interventions and brief interventions in non-medical settings (such as the workplace, prisons or service providers), as well as those medical settings where solid evidence is not yet available. We welcomed research evaluating the impact of moving public health to local authorities on the commissioning of treatment services.
Policy and Culture Change
We invited proposals evaluating the impact of policy on cultural change. This could have included research into the role of licensing in shaping purchasing behaviours, or the evaluation of local initiatives to tackle alcohol harms. We welcomed research into the regulatory process: how licensing boards reached decisions; what factors impacted on that process; and how relevant stakeholders worked in partnership. This could have included archival and / or qualitative observational studies. Historical research on the relationship between policy and culture (e.g. comparisons with smoking) was also welcome. We also considered research on non-regulatory ‘nudge’ techniques that seek to extend understanding of behaviour-change in the drinking environment.
Marketing and Media
The role of media communications in drinking cultures is increasingly important. We invited innovative research looking at this area and addressing key methodological questions. This might have included qualitative research on the interpretation of marketing messages, in particular regarding social media communications; research exploring robust methods for analysing media content; or proposals addressing regulatory challenges presented by contemporary marketing and exploring appropriate policy responses. We were particularly concerned with the ways in which different types of media, including social media, combined in multi-platform marketing environments.
Information and Education
Schools-based education remains commonplace, but we invited research which explored the role and efficacy of education programmes in a wider range of contexts. This might have included research on effective parental education; the effective use of digital media to promote alcohol awareness; education programmes in youth services and elsewhere, or strategies for the effective dissemination of research findings.
Developing Research Methods
We invited proposals that sought to broaden our understanding of research methods across the alcohol field. These might have included innovative methods for effectively measuring consumption; new ways of analysing or developing existing research databases; methods for more accurately segmenting consumer groups (and moving beyond broad averages for measuring consumption); strategies for improving follow-up response rates etc. in cohort studies; methods for evaluating policy impact; or methods for accurately measuring media content and influence.
The following considerations apply to all applications:
Cross-cutting theme: drinking in the lifecourse
Where appropriate, we strongly encouraged proposals to consider drinking across the lifecourse and in a range of settings. This included underage consumption, youth drinking, student drinking, post-university consumption, workplace consumption, home drinking, parental drinking, ‘empty-nest’ behaviours, middle-age, drinking in retirement and so forth. Proposals did not need to cover all (or more than one) of these stages, but we encouraged proposals to explicitly consider how the research related to lifecourse issues.
Methodology and Researchabilty
Applications had to persuade referees and our Grants Advisory Panel that the ability to collect robust evidence was at the heart of the proposal. Where relevant, proposals had to show that sampling and analysis methods were reliable, sought to avoid biases, and took account of potential issues such as low response and follow-up rates.