GambleAware Commits £4m For Britain’s First Academic Research Hub

GambleAware has committed funds to develop a unique academic gambling related-related harm research hub. The gambling charity has begun an eight-month awarding process.

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Charity Commits Funds for Research Hub. © Pixabay.

The gambling charity GambleAware has earmarked £4m to create Britain’s first Academic Research Hub specialising in gambling harms in Great Britain.

The charity will award the funds to a single academic institution as part of its long term strategy of diversifying research capability. GambleAware believes that an investment of this size would bring new disciplines into the gambling-related harms field, and they intend to build the evidence field in Great Britain.

The charity believes such an investment will significantly raise Britain’s international profile and make them subject matter experts on the subject.

GambleAware has stated that the research hub would be responsible for its own research, focusing on the research aligning with public health issues related to gambling. The successful recipient would also be expected to secure other means of funding to ensure the project’s growth beyond the grant award terms.

In a press release on the GambleAware website, the charity state the project’s ambition is to have a “significant impact on the whole gambling research landscape” on the landscape in Great Britain and globally. They add that they believe the hub’s creation will contribute to the charity’s goals of creating a society safe from gambling harms. GambelAware also believes it will fulfil its strategic objective of building academic research capacity. The charity explained that the current situation in Great Britain is that a very small number of academics performs most gambling research from a social science perspective. Creating a new hub will broaden the range of academic disciplines engaged with gambling harms research.

GambleAware explains that a select number of universities have been invited to apply for the grant of £4m. The charity selected these universities due to their previous work relevant to gambling behaviour and harms prevention. They also state that although the grant will be awarded to a single institution, they would expect the beneficiary of the grant to take a highly collaborative approach, both internally and with other academics, including international partners.

Alison Clare, the interim 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.

“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 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.”

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