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NIHR Challenge – Maternity Inequalities

Fund Name

NIHR Challenge - Maternity Inequalities

Project Length

5 years

Project Value

Up to £50m



Through the first ‘NIHR Challenge’, the NIHR is looking to commission a research consortium bringing together leading institutions, in collaboration with other partners, from across the UK with expertise in research, capacity building and engagement with diverse populations.

Stage 1 – organisations are invited to apply to join the consortium

Stage 2 – successful organisations will come together to develop the work programme including large-scale ambitious projects which lead to a step change and measurable improvement in maternity inequalities.

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Fund details

The consortium will develop and implement a research and capacity-building programme to deliver a step change in the health of both women and their babies and support those who plan, commission, manage, deliver and use services across the health, public health and social care sector.

The NIHR Challenge aims to increase the evidence base to drive actions to reduce maternity inequalities and lead to better outcomes for women and their babies.


  • Organisations based in the UK and conducting relevant research with an expected benefit for the population of the UK will be accepted for consideration.
  • Applications must be led by a university.


Over five years, funding of up to £50m will be available to support the consortium. This will be split across research and capacity building, however, the specific split will be agreed upon as part of the stage 2 process.

Funding for research projects will be up to 80% fEC (full economic costing) and negotiated via the stage 2 process.

The indicative budget over five years (to be confirmed as part of stage 2):

  • 24/25: £5m
  • 25/26: £10
  • 26/27: £10m
  • 27/28: £10m
  • 28/29: £10m
  • 29/30: £5m
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