GambleAware will help fund the project through an eight-month grant award process, saying the new hub will support its aim of creating a society safe from gambling harms and help deliver its strategic objective to actively build academic research capacity.
The charity added that it is expected the research facility will secure alternative funding to support its continued growth and development beyond the initial grant award.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for a British university to develop and innovate in a relatively under-researched field, bringing to bear a much wider range of academic disciplines than are currently engaged in gambling harms research,” GambleAware interim research director Alison Clare said.
“With this significant investment, a British university and its partners will have the chance to create a step change in building knowledge in an area which links and overlaps with many other subjects and fields.
The new hub will seek to broaden the range of academic disciplines engaged with gambling harms research in Great Britain, with the aim of supporting and informing the wider system of treatment providers, organisations and agencies working to prevent and reduce gambling harm.
While the hub will be based at one university, with a number of establishments having put forward applications to host the facility, the hub will work both within its own institution and externally with other academics and partners to support research.
GambleAware is encouraging applications from those with a strong academic track record in adjacent disciplines such as public health, mental health, health inequalities, health economics, epidemiology, clinical health and psychology.
“It’s a different type of grant award to the smaller projects and programmes in our current research portfolio, with GambleAware taking a much more arm’s length approach in guiding the area of research focus,” Clare said.
“Our main criteria is that universities apply a multi-disciplinary, public health lens in setting out the rationale for their chosen research area. From our early discussions with selected universities, we’re expecting some very creative and innovative proposals at the initial Expression of Interest stage.”
The launch of the new project comes after GambleAware announced the return of its Bet Regret safer gambling campaign to align with the start of the 2020-21 English Premier League football season.