Research at PHE

The PHE strategy for research translation and innovation defines the research priorities for the agency.

Research, translation and innovation strategy

Doing, supporting and using public health research: The Public Health England strategy for research, translation and innovation outlines how Public Health England will use research, translation and innovation to support the transformation of public health practice and services.

This strategy outlines PHE plans, actions and measures of success for research on public and population health and health protection. It outlines our commitment to working in partnership with academics, research funders, the NHS and the public.

We will foster, encourage and enable research to address priority questions for public health, align research capacity to priorities and support the translation of findings into innovations in practices and services. The Strategy underwent full public consultation during the spring of 2015.

Annual research review

Read the PHE research annual review. The document includes information about strategy, funding and peer reviewed publications.

NHS Health Check programme

The research priorities for the NHS health check programme were published in February 2015. The document covers the evidence required for running a successful Health Check programme for 40 to 74 year-olds.

Research prioritisation workshop series

The Research Translation and Innovation division hosted 4 workshops in 2014 and 2015 to prioritise research needs. Research prioritisation: workshop series

  • research prioritisation on dementia, 26 August 2014
  • research prioritisation on obesity, 9 September 2014
  • research prioritisation on the best start in life, 25 November 2014
  • cross-cutting themes (issues raised in the 3 research prioritisation workshops)
  • workshop: evaluation of public health interventions, 11 February 2015

Four workshops produced 5 reports to look at the issues surrounding research, barriers and gaps in knowledge. Attendees included academics, research funders, policy-makers and programme leads from PHE, the NHS and academia.

Three of the topics covered are among the PHE priorities set out in its 2014 publication From evidence into action:

  • obesity
  • dementia
  • best start in life
  • evaluation of public health interventions

Cross cutting themes emerged from the first 3 workshops and are detailed in the cross cutting themes report.

Regional research and practice workshops

The Research, Translation and Innovation division has been working with PHE centres to strengthen links between academics and other professionals across the public health system via research and practice workshops to explore public health research needs and priorities in their local areas.

The workshops involved an overview of research priorities from different stakeholder perspectives: PHE Centres, Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Groups, along with opportunities for discussions, workshops and a Dragon’s Den session with pump priming funds available to enable local research projects to be further developed.

These workshops operated on the PHE Centre footprints and have been developed with input from a lead at the PHE Centre, the Head of Academic Public Health Support in the Research, Translation and Innovation division and an academic or other public health professional colleague(s).

The workshops form part of PHE’s response to recommendation 6 in the Academy of Medical Sciences ‘Health of the Public 2040’ report: “We recommend that Public Health England, Health Education England and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland work with the research community to develop regional hubs of engagement between practitioners and researchers.”

Reports which summarise the workshops which have taken place are available online.