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J Public Health (Oxf). 2014 Jun;36(2):325-35. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdt035. Epub 2013 Jul 28.

Public health research in the UK: a report with a European perspective.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.
Division of Health Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.



Public health research is of growing interest within Europe. Bibliometric research shows the UK with a high absolute output of public health publications, although lower per capita than Nordic countries. UK contributed to a European Union (EU) project PHIRE to assess public health research and innovation.


UK health research structures, and programmes funded in 2010, were determined from internet search. Expert informants were asked to comment on national uptake of eight projects EU collaborative health projects. The Faculty of Public Health and the UK Society for Social Medicine discussed the findings at a meeting with stakeholders.


Health research in UK is funded by research councils, the National Health Service (NHS) and independent foundations. Reviews and reports on public health research have encouraged diversified funding. There were 15 programmes and calls in 2010. The UK participated in all eight EU projects, and there was uptake of results for four.


Strategic coordination between public health researchers and practitioners, and the UK research councils, ministries of health and medical charities would strengthen research for policy and practice. With growing expertise and capacity across other EU countries, the UK should take more active leadership in European collaboration.


management and policy; public health; research

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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