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NIHR publishes its operational priorities

Published: 10 June 2021

The NIHR has today published Best Research for Best Health: The Next Chapter. This represents an update to the Best Research for Best Health strategy that underpinned the establishment of NIHR in 2006.

The Next Chapter sets out NIHR’s operational priorities now and into the future. It re-affirms our core workstreams and how we are constantly innovating to deliver against these, and also identifies seven ‘areas of strategic focus’. These are areas where we need to work with urgency and in fundamentally different ways if we are to address the changing needs of people and communities in the 21st Century.

The seven areas of strategic focus are as follows:

  • Build on learnings from the research response to COVID-19 and support the recovery of the health and social care systems
  • Build capacity and capability in preventative, public health and social care research
  • Improve the lives of people with multiple long-term conditions through research
  • Bring clinical and applied research to under-served regions and communities with major health needs
  • Embed equality, diversity and inclusion across NIHR's research, systems and culture
  • Strengthen careers for research delivery staff and under-represented disciplines and specialisms
  • Expand our 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.”

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