Bradford leap-frogs London, Oxford and Cambridge to top UK medical research table for first time

By 3 June 2024No Comments

City transformed from ‘neglected backwater’ of health research into global leader, as Bradfordians advance medical science in record numbers

BRADFORD has consolidated its position at the forefront of world-class, people-powered medical research after recruiting the highest number of volunteers for health studies in the UK over the past year.

The team at the Bradford Institute for Health Research (BIHR), part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, propelled itself into the coveted top spot after more than 25,000 Bradfordians signed up to take part in its growing portfolio of 86 live studies, new figures reveal.

It leap-frogged individual hospitals and academic institutions in cities such as London, Oxford and Cambridge to take pole position nationally for the first time.

The feat has been hailed by Director of BIHR, Professor John Wright, who said it underlined Bradford’s rapid transformation from a “neglected backwater of medical research” into a true global leader.

“This is a stunning achievement that reflects both the amazing altruism and support from the people of Bradford and the pool of home-grown talent that exists across our research teams,” he said.

“Just 15 years ago, the city was a neglected backwater of medical research.

“Today, we are leading the country – trailblazing flagship studies and securing world ‘firsts’, as well as overtaking the leading medical research centres in London, Oxford and Cambridge as the UK’s top recruiting hospital.

“Thanks to the amazing people of Bradford, who continue to join our research journey in unprecedented numbers, we can all work together to advance science and help develop better treatments at pace and at scale.”

He added: “Bradford has become a city of scientific discovery, a city of innovation. Above all, we are not just a City of Culture – we are now also a City of Research.”

The range of studies pioneered at BIHR means that research participants span all age groups – from unborn babies to people well into their 90s.

These range from the global-setting Born in Bradford study, to Age of Wonder – one of the biggest research projects involving teenagers in the world; from developing better drugs to pioneering cutting edge genetic research.

Bradford’s standing at the top table of health research centres in the UK is further strengthened by the compilation of its expanding cohort of participants – over 70% are from the poorest corners of the city, while more than half are from minority ethnic communities.

View the full article and quotes from Bradford research volunteers here:

To find out more about the research happening at the Bradford Institute for Health Research, check out: