Understanding health and disease

We support researchers across the world exploring fundamental questions about health and disease.

These questions are wide-ranging – from how our brains function, to how infections like HIV and TB are spread, to how our experience of disease is affected by gender and ethnicity.

Biomedical science research

We want to understand the processes underpinning life, and what happens when those processes go wrong.

Our areas of research include:

See a list of our funding schemes that support biomedical science research.

How we fund

Most of our funding in biomedical science and population health goes to individuals and teams asking questions which have the potential to address a major health need.

We increase the impact of this funding by supporting:

Population health research

We want to understand the causes and consequences of health and disease in populations. We also want to determine how good health and poor health are distributed through populations. 

Population health involves researchers from many different disciplines, such as epidemiologists, demographers, health economists and sociologists.

Our areas of research include:

See a list of our funding schemes that support population health research.

One of our priority areas is Our Planet, Our Health. It supports research into how we’re changing our environment and how these changes affect our health.

Humanities and social science research

Science research alone can’t always improve people’s health. Social, historical, ethical and cultural factors also shape how people experience healthcare.

We support research in humanities and social science, ranging from ethnography and the impact of health policy to bioethics and bioarchaeology.

We encourage collaboration and the sharing of ideas. By working together, humanities and social science researchers, healthcare professionals and scientists can find new ways to think about health and overcome challenges.

See a list of our funding schemes that support humanities and social science research.