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SCI Foundation becomes an Independent Research Organisation

17 August 2022

This month, SCI Foundation has been awarded the status of Independent Research Organisation (IRO) by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the body responsible for convening the UK’s research councils and for supporting research, knowledge exchange and innovation.

IRO status will enable the organisation to lead, or participate as a full partner, in research projects funded by UK research councils.

This is an important step in SCI Foundation’s commitment to operate as an evidence-based organisation and enhance our dedication to research and programmes that reflect the needs and priorities of our partners.

Fiona Fleming, Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, said: “Obtaining IRO status is a tremendous achievement enabling us to access a variety of global health funding opportunities, and more closely collaborate with our partners to deliver world-class research”.

The accreditation involved a thorough application process to prove our eligibility for this status, including:

·        Assessment by the UKRI to determine institutional, financial and grant management eligibility

·        Assessment by the Medical Research Council to determine scientific expertise and capacity

·        Final review and approval by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

SCI Foundation’s forthcoming five-year strategy 2023-2028 will emphasise strengthening health systems and contributing to health equity. Becoming an IRO will help ensure our ability to apply rigour to all areas of programming, monitoring and evaluation, and innovation towards disease elimination and health systems resilience.

Key areas of research for the next strategic period will include:

  • Increasing knowledge on parasitic infection epidemiology and morbidity.
  • Enhancing the quality and transparency of data systems.
  • Standardising mapping and geostatistical tools to improve targeting of interventions towards disease elimination.