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Wellbeing of Women invests almost £1.5 million in new research

Together with several funding partners, Wellbeing of Women is investing in new research studies on women’s health issues, from heavy menstrual bleeding to pregnancy care, and from the menopause to gynaecological cancers.

We are proud to be investing almost £1.5 million in research with partners across women’s health.

This continues our long history of funding pioneering research and enabling breakthroughs that transform women’s health.

These research studies are led by leading academics and clinicians at top UK universities and institutions, and the grants were awarded following a rigorous assessment. Each study will help us advance our understanding of women’s health and wellbeing to help improve women’s health across the life course.

Since 1964, Wellbeing of Women has invested £67 million in 588 research studies. We are the only UK charity funding across all of women’s reproductive and gynaecological health.

Jeremy Barratt, our Head of Research, said: “We’re delighted to add to our research portfolio and commit more than one million pounds towards some truly innovative research projects.

“Wellbeing of Women has already contributed to major discoveries that have revolutionised the health of women, girls and babies. These include establishing the importance of folic acid in pregnancy and early-stage research that led to the discovery of the link between HPV and cervical cancer. Recently, our funded research confirmed the safety and effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines for pregnant women and their babies.

"We’re sure that our latest projects will also contribute towards transforming women's health.”

Research is vital to find better and faster ways to predict and diagnose conditions, and develop new and effective treatments and cures. Jeremy Barratt Head of Research, Wellbeing of Women

The grants have been awarded to the following projects:

Menstrual health

Dr Lucy Whitaker, lead researcher for the EPIC2 clinical trial

Pregnancy and birth

  • Dr Hui Wei Leow at the University of Leeds will investigate how a mother’s blood glucose levels affect their baby’s growth and the function of the placenta.
  • Dr Hannah Rosen O'Sullivan at King’s College London will explore ways to predict premature birth more accurately and at an earlier stage. This study is being co-funded by the British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society.
  • Rebecca Tothill-Miller at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will explore the care provided to women with a rare but serious condition in which the placenta grows too deeply into the wall of the uterus. This research is being co-funded by the Royal College of Midwives and Burdett Trust for Nursing
  • At the University of Sheffield, Dr Emmanuel Amabebe will explore how to predict and prevent premature births due to vaginal infections.

We’re delighted to add to our research portfolio and commit more than one million pounds towards some truly innovative research projects. Jeremy Barratt Head of Research, Wellbeing of Women

  • Terri Brosnan from Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will carry out research to understand how services are provided when women face the difficult choice of terminating their pregnancy due to problems with the development of their baby. This project is co-funded by the Royal College of Midwives and the Burdett Trust for Nursing.
  • Rebecca Blaylock at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will investigate the impact telemedicine has had on abortion accessibility and equitable provision of services in England and Wales. This study is being co-funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).
  • At the University of Manchester, Dr Kate Duhig will use MRI to assess whether anatomical changes to the heart and placenta during pregnancy identify women at risk of pre-eclampsia.
  • Professor Nikki Robertson at University College London aims to develop an effective, globally accessible and cheap treatment to protect the brains of babies born following a difficult birth.

Gynaecological cancers

  • Dr Ankit Chadha at Imperial College London will carry out research to develop a cheap and rapid test to help identify which ovarian cancer tumours can be given a type of innovative cancer treatment called PARP inhibitors.
  • Dr Maria Paraskevaidi, also from Imperial College London, will assess the effectiveness of innovative technologies for the early detection and diagnosis of cervical and vulval cancer.

Both studies are being co-funded by the British Gynaecological Cancer Society.


  • We have begun research that aims to improve access to menopause treatment and support in primary and community care, in partnership with NHS England. We hope to develop recommendations on how to empower women, healthcare professionals, such as GPs, nurses and pharmacists, as well as the health system to ‘Think Menopause’ when women present with perimenopause and menopause symptoms.

Find out more about all our research projects

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Wellbeing of Women funds vital research that will save and change the lives of women, girls and babies.

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