Public Health Research Funds

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The PHR Programme funds research to generate evidence to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions, specifically, we provide new knowledge on the benefits, costs, acceptability and wider impacts of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health.

Proposed primary outcome measures should always be health-related unless otherwise specified in a commissioning brief. Examples include examining whether regeneration programmes improve public health and reduce health inequalities; evaluating employer schemes to encourage walking or cycling to work, and assessing interventions that encourage healthy eating among school children.

Applicants wishing to evaluate public health interventions that sit both inside and outside of the NHS, or on the boundary, are encouraged to discuss their proposals with PHR Programme staff at an early stage.

The PHR Programme will generally only consider applications focused on intervention development where an intervention already exists and for which there is an evidence base, but it requires adaptation to situations such as a new context (e.g. a change in setting or target behaviour or client group) or amalgamation of separate, defined interventions so that they complement each other.

However, where a compelling case is made, we will also fund work to establish feasibility and to pilot a definitive intervention. This research may also include work to optimise an existing intervention prior to evaluation, where research has shown that the intervention performs sub-optimally and there are specific remediable aspects of the intervention such as the delivery method or the timing of elements.

The programme does not, however, fund the creation of new interventions as this research would likely fall under the remit of the MRC Public Health Intervention Development (PHIND) programme. 

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