Areas of research interest

Areas of research interest (ARI) give details about the main research questions facing government departments.

ARI also include information on:

  • departmental research systems
  • research and data publication policies
  • research and development strategies


In response to the 2015 Nurse review of the UK Research Councils, the government accepted the review’s recommendation to provide:

  • a more strategic approach to departmental research and development programmes
  • a more sophisticated dialogue with academia
  • documents that set out the most important research questions facing each department


ARI aim to improve how government departments:

  • align scientific and research evidence from academia with policy development and decision-making
  • access a wide range of suppliers
  • engage with researchers
  • access stronger policy evidence bases at better value for money
  • share research commissions


If you are interested in working with a department on a research question, please use the contact details within the relevant ARI.

If you have general comments to make on the format of the ARIs, please contact the Government Office for Science.


Departments' Areas of Research Interest

Non ministerial departments' Areas of Research Interest

Evaluation of Areas of Interest

Published 28 June 2017
Last updated 14 July 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added DLUHC areas of research interest.

  2. Added ARI guidance.

  3. Defra group research and innovation interests 2021 added.

  4. Addition of 2 documents by the Government Office for Science looking into the evidence base and data and evaluation areas of research.

  5. Addition of DIT areas of research interest for 2020 to 2021.

  6. Added FCO coronavirus update and BEIS interim update 2020

  7. Added Home Office: areas of research interest document.

  8. Added DfT areas of research interest 2019.

  9. Added 'Cabinet Office Areas of Research Interest 2019'.

  10. Added 'DWP Areas of Research Interest 2019'.

  11. National Archives areas of research interest added.

  12. Added the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's Areas of Research Interest.

  13. Added the Department for Education's Areas of Research Interest.

  14. Added Health and Safety Executive (HSE) areas of research interest.

  15. DIT, DWP and MOD Areas of Research Interest added.

  16. Cabinet Office ARIs added

  17. BEIS ARI added.

  18. FCO areas of research interests added

  19. Added DH areas of research interest.

  20. Added DfT ARI

  21. Added the FSA's ARI

  22. First published.