One of the Scottish Government’s strategic objectives is for the people of Scotland to live longer and healthier lives, and to reduce the impact of health and social inequalities. A proactive and preventative approach is needed and this is evident in the focus on the early years through the early years policy framework Getting in Right for Every Child (GIRFEC).  This reflects the growing body of evidence that indicates that health and wellbeing during pregnancy and the first few years of life are key determinants of long term health. To achieve lasting improvements in the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies, high quality primary research and translational research is required to inform and support clinicians, maternity service leads and healthcare policy makers.

Scotland has an international reputation for multidisciplinary research in maternal and child health.

As a universal service provided to all pregnant women in the UK, midwives have a pivotal role in the health and social care of mothers and babies. They are ideally placed to implement existing effective interventions in efficient and woman-centred ways, and to develop and test new interventions and models of care. Midwifery research is essential to the continued development of person-centred, safe and effective maternity care.

The Scottish Midwifery Research Collaboration known as SMART is a joint HEI initiative that brings together the lead midwife researchers from HEIs across Scotland with the aim of creating a critical mass of experienced researchers who have the skills and experience to develop and lead a sustainable programme of research in maternal and child health.

Our aim is to safeguard and support midwifery research capacity and capability in Scotland. To provide and develop strategic midwifery research leadership and a coordinated approach to midwifery research in Scotland. To undertake high quality, rigorous and timely research to support and inform policy and practice.