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Born in Bradford awarded new research grant

Posted on 6 July 2016

The landmark Born in Bradford project - tracking the lives and health of more than 13,500 children across the city - has been awarded a £3m grant to expand its research.

The grant, awarded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), ensures new studies will examine the health and wellbeing of at least 9,000 of the original Born in Bradford children, now aged between 7 and 10 years old.

Kate Pickett, Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and the University's Research Champion for Justice and Equality, is leading the research on how children develop socially and emotionally.

Established in 2007, the Born in Bradford project is one of the largest medical research studies of its kind anywhere in the world.

The impetus for the research stemmed from Bradford’s high infant mortality rates – which were double the national average – and a determination to tackle a raft of growing health issues in the city.

The project aims to find out more about the causes of childhood illness by studying children from different cultures and backgrounds as their lives unfold.

More than 9,000 of the study’s children - who were first recruited while their mothers were pregnant - will be asked, along with their 13,500 mothers and fathers, to complete new questionnaires about their lives, health and wellbeing.

The new data collected will provide a platform to support world-leading research across a wide range of areas.

Professor Pickett said: “Children's social and emotional wellbeing is crucial for their long-term health and achievement and this grant will help us to understand how children's family, social class and ethnic backgrounds promote their healthy development in these areas.”

Professor John Wright, Born in Bradford Director based at the Bradford Institute for Health Research, said: “We are thrilled by the award of this prestigious research council funding.

“Doctors and nurses in Bradford have been working closely with the UK’s leading scientists to develop a programme of research in Born in Bradford that will help us to improve the lives of future generations of children.”

Born in Bradford has produced notable research successes to date including: the creation of a Yorkshire-wide congenital anomalies register; becoming the first Trust in the UK to provide diabetes screening for all pregnant women and developing a mobile phone app to help parents and health professionals monitor children’s weight.

Further information:

  • Born in Bradford is led by the Bradford Institute for Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary, and hosted and supported by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For more information about the project, visit:
  • For further information about the University of York’s Department of Health Sciences, visit:

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