The partnership, which was announced on World Health Day (last Sunday, 7 April), is the result of two years of talks and marks the first time that LSHTM has partnered a commercial group such as WPP Health.
The collaboration aims to develop initiatives to transform health programmes and improve health equity around the world.
It brings together LSHTM’s expertise as a leading research university for public and global health with WPP’s network of health comms specialists.
Under the partnership LSHTM’s students and staff will be given comms guidance by WPP, to help academics communicate their research findings to a wider audience.
WPP’s health practice, meanwhile, will benefit from collaborating with some of the world’s leading health researchers, further expanding its understanding of major global health issues.
"The combination of effective communications and a deep understanding of health, policy and science is fundamental to improving health worldwide," according to Professor Peter Piot, LSHTM director.
"Mixing our research and academic leadership in health with the communications expertise within WPP Health Practice will add value to the work we do."
Claire Gillis, international head of WPP’s health practice, said the partnership "presents a powerful opportunity to translate world-renowned research into communications that transform health".
She added: "The collaboration strengthens our understanding of disease and populations and gives LSHTM access to extraordinary creative talent to shape evidence-based communications that address global health needs."
Breaking new ground
But this is the first time LSHTM has collaborated with a communications group in this way, according to the institution's head of communications and engagement, Katie Steels.
"In academia the goal is often to publish your research in a prestigious journal, and then you move on to the next piece of research and repeat. But if we want our research to have real-world impact we need to translate those findings for different audiences and work to ensure that they become policy and practice," she said.
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