NIHR sets out research plans to help NHS recover post-COVID

New research priorities announced after lessons learned from COVID

11th June 2021 about a 2 minute read
Working with partners the NIHR needs to tackle the ingrained injustices that exist in the world of research in terms of who is involved, engaged or participating and also the inequities which exist in the professional research workforce.  Best Research for Best Health - NIHR June 2021

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has set out its priorities for the future and identified seven new ‘areas of strategic focus’.

Its report Best Research for Best Health: The Next Chapter highlights areas where the organisation plans to work with greater urgency and in different ways to meet the changing needs of today’s communities.

NIHR says its research will need to become much more integrated across disciplines and better serve the more holistic research questions that it will increasingly be asked to address in the coming years.

The seven areas of strategic focus are:

  • Building on learning from the research response to COVID-19 and supporting the recovery of the health and social care systems
  • Building capacity and capability in preventative, public health and social care research
  • Improving the lives of people with multiple long-term conditions through research
  • Bringing clinical and applied research to under-served regions and communities with major health needs
  • Embedding equality, diversity and inclusion across NIHR’s research, systems and culture
  • Strengthening careers for research delivery staff and under-represented disciplines and specialisms
  • Expanding work with the life sciences industry to improve health and economic prosperity.

Dr Louise Wood CBE, Director of Science Research and Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care and Co-Lead for NIHR, said:

“The NIHR sits at the fulcrum of one of the most developed, expert and exciting health and care research systems in the world. We have much to be proud of, not least our response to the COVID-19 pandemic where research we funded and delivered has saved many lives at home and across the world.

“However, the environment is changing rapidly and there are several areas of health, public health and social care research where we need to accelerate the pace of development. 

“These are complex challenges and we will need to work closely with our partners and to harness the talent and energy of people across the whole of NIHR if we are to truly deliver against our mission of improving the health and wealth of the nation through research.” Dr Louise Wood

Best Research for Best Health: The Next Chapter –  Our Operational Priorities  NIHR June 2021 is available here