Aberdeen University is heading a $.5 million (£17.6 million) international project to help prevent women dying during pregnancy and childbirth.
Some 515,000 women die each year from conditions linked to pregnancy, most of which are preventable.
The Aberdeen-coordinated research will focus on developing countries, where the risk of maternal death can be as high as one in ten, compared with one in 8,000 in northern Europe.
The Initiative for Maternal Mortality Programme Assessment (Immpact) aims to produce hard evidence for what constitutes effective and cost-effective safe motherhood programmes in different areas.
It is backed by an alliance of key international agencies and foundations, including the European Commission, the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations Population Fund, the United States Agency for International Development, the Wellcome Trust, the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Funding of the seven-year programme is expected to rise to almost $40 million in the first four years.