GambleAware, a gambling non-profit organisation, has unveiled a £4 million funding package to start UK's first-ever academic research hub dedicated to gaming-related harm. It will be an 8-month grant application procedure and is a sizable initiative for the organization compared to previous ones.
Their goal is for the Academic Research Hub to have a major impact targeting the gambling research landscape. It will encompass both the United Kingdom and the rest of the world, owing to the incorporation of rich and fresh areas of research.
GambleAware hopes to have a significant impact on the gambling research environment in the United Kingdom and throughout the world.
The Hub will help GambleAware achieve its vision of a society free of gambling-related harms. Their mission is to advance the charity's strategic goal of actively enhancing relevant academic research capacity.
To ensure its sustainability, it is also anticipated that the chosen institution will acquire additional financing to support growth and development beyond the first grant allocation.
Currently, the majority of gambling research in the United Kingdom is conducted from a social scientific standpoint and is conducted by a limited number of academics.
However, with these new ambitions, the Hub hopes to expand the spectrum of academic specialities studying gaming problems in the country.
A public health lens approach allows the winning institution to define its own research agenda and will support and inform the larger system of treatment providers, agencies, and organizations that are currently striving to identify and reduce the harms associated with gaming.
The funding will be available to a restricted number of colleges that have been invited to apply and have been based purely on university rankings, including those with a strong reputation for research on gambling behaviour and harm prevention.
The grant will be awarded to a single university, and the successful applicant will pursue a highly collaborative and multidisciplinary approach both internally and externally with other academics and collaborators, including those located outside the United States.
Applications from institutes specializing in public health, health economics, mental health, health disparities, epidemiology, clinical health, and/or psychology are highly encouraged.
“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 that 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” mentioned Alison Clare, who serves as the Research Director (Interim) at GambleAware.
Clare added that “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.
Our main criteria are 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.”