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Oliver Bird Fund

Between 2019 – 2029, we are dedicating up to £12.5m on research into musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.


Musculoskeletal conditions affect the joints, bones and muscles including arthritis, back and neck pain, as well as rare autoimmune diseases. Together, these conditions affect 17.8 million people in the UK and are the single biggest cause of pain and disability. One in five people consult a GP about a musculoskeletal condition and musculoskeletal conditions account for the third largest area of NHS England programme spending at £4.7 billion in 2013-14.

We want to improve the lives of people living with musculoskeletal conditions by funding interrelated policy, practice and research activities. We are awarding funding across three programmes:

  • Research to exploit existing national-level longitudinal and administrative data on the bio/social/economic determinants and outcomes of musculoskeletal conditions through secondary analysis of existing data.
  • Research to integrate and exploit local health, social care and other data sources in the UK at a local-level through funding one or more local data integration pilot sites.
  • Interdisciplinary research into musculoskeletal conditions that will generate new knowledge on public health and social well-being for those living with such conditions.


The Oliver Bird Fund is currently closed to new applications.


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