The NIHR Research Unit on Health in Situations of Fragility (RUHF) at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh focuses on contexts where displacement, conflict, pandemic disease or weak capacity makes the delivery of vital health services especially challenging.

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the RUHF is one of thirteen Global Health Research Units across the UK to lead research in key areas of relevance to global development.

Building on IGHD’s extensive previous work in these regions, RUHF is bringing together expertise from research clusters in health systems development and psychosocial wellbeing, integration and protection to develop a comprehensive ‘systems for health’ approach to addressing fragility and building resilience.


"The UK government’s focus for international aid is increasingly in fragile settings. It is desperately important to understand how to deliver vital health services in these places and identify practical strategies to promote resilience."
Professor Alastair Ager, Unit Director



The unit is hosted within QMU’s Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD). IGHD is recognised as a world leader in two major areas of research - health systems and mental health provision - and the work of the Unit brings together these two major strands.  

The unit’s work builds on ideas and methodologies developed in IGHD's previous work. This includes the study of post-conflict health systems recovery in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Cambodia, and also the resilience of health care systems in the Middle East, following the displacement of people from the conflict in Syria.