Impact and Influence

  1. Scientific impact and leverage

Since CMARs inception in 2012, it has demonstrated clear progress towards becoming an internationally competitive centre of excellence in musculoskeletal (MSK) ageing research with significant ability to leverage further funding and influence, at the end of the first phase (September 2017) this was evidenced by:

 £72.17 million gained in competitive funding for its research

 392 scientific papers and reviews published with 152 in high impact journals

 Influencing frontline scientific debate through >100 invitations to speak at leading national and international conferences, organising symposia at major UK conferences and overseas

 Contribution to health policy outputs for ARUK (Musculoskeletal Ageing and Health: A Public Health Perspective) and government inquiries (House of Commons Health Select committee inquiry on Physical Activity and Diet)

 Contributions to expert think-tank events (Influencing the Trajectories of Ageing, The Academy of Medical Sciences)

 Establishing novel, large-scale technology platforms in stable isotope quantification of substrate and tissue turnover and metabolomics with associated training activity to meet national skills gaps

 Building research capacity through 20 new academic appointments, a strong PhD programme, a new MSc in the topic, and promotion of centre researchers to permanent posts

 Influencing public and patient understanding of MSK ageing through extensive public engagement activity


  1. Influence

    The award of the Centre has given us significant further influence locally and nationally by ensuring MSK ageing is a key element of other major research initiatives such as the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Rheumatoid Pathogenesis (the University of Birmingham is a partner), the NIHR trauma centre at the University of Birmingham, the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and OA (led by the University of Nottingham).

  2. We are also continuing to impact future research strategy by keeping MSK ageing at the forefront of planned major research activities such as the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), which involves both the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham, and the recent NIHR BRC awards with MSK themes in the bids from the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham.
  3. The Centre has also catalysed further local commitment to MSK ageing research such that it is now a research focus at both the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham. This is a major achievement given that neither partner had worked together before phase one of CMAR began.