Research

Science we support

Units and centres

The MRC supports the following units and centres, which study the various determinants of population health:

  • MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Science Unit (Glasgow)
  • MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit (Southampton)
  • MRC Epidemiology Unit (Cambridge)
  • MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing
  • MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit
  • MRC Biostatistics Unit
  • Clinical Trials Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit
  • MRC Clinical Trials Unit
  • MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling (London)
  • MRC PHE Centre for Environment and Health

Initiatives

Partnerships with other funders are an effective means of addressing shared strategic challenges. We contribute to and manage several of these multi-funder initiatives on behalf of the funding consortia. Together these partnerships involve 18 different Government and charity funders.

UKCRC Public Health Research Centres of Excellence

In 2008 a partnership of eight* government and charity funders invested £21m to establish five UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) public health research centres of excellence across the UK. The MRC manages the centres on behalf of the other partners. Over the initial five years of funding, the centres have built a platform for public health research across the UK. Their aim is to strengthen research in public health by increasing capacity and infrastructure and engaging with policy makers and practitioners. In 2013 the Centres received continued funding for a second five-year term.

The five UKCRC Public Health Research Centres of Excellence are:

  1. The Centre for Diet and Activity Research (Cambridge)
  2. The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (Cardiff and Bristol)
  3. The Centre of Excellence for Public Health (Northern Ireland)
  4. The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health (Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside)
  5. The UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Control Studies (Nottingham)

* The British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, theEconomic and Social Research Council, Health and Social Care Research & Development Office, MRC, NIHR, National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust.

Read more about the UKCRC Public Health Research Centres of Excellence

The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy

Funded by the MRC and the Chief Scientist Office, the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) was established in 2008. It aims to strengthen the evidence base for public health by developing and testing complex interventions that address major health problems in Scotland. It will also work towards facilitating their uptake into policy and practice. SCPHRP was renewed for a further five years in 2013.

Read more about The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy

National Prevention Research Initiative

The National Prevention Research Initiative (NPRI) is a major national initiative supported by 16 government departments, research councils and major medical charities. Its core aim has been to support research which is focused on preventing non-communicable diseases through influencing health behaviours such as diet, alcohol consumption and physical activity. The NPRI partners have completed four funding calls and supported 74 projects, having provided a commitment of £33 million. The MRC manages the initiative on behalf of 16 current partners.

Read more about the National Prevention Research Initiative

Networks

MRC Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research

The MRC Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research connects hubs from across the UK to improve the design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and reporting of clinical trials. It is developing work in priority areas such as stratified medicine, trial recruitment and evidence synthesis.

Read more about the MRC Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research.

UK Health Informatics Research Network (UKHIRN)

Funded by 10* partners, the UK Health Informatics Research Network (UKHIRN) was set up to strengthen the UK’s capability in health informatics research by building inclusive partnerships, promoting the coordination of key activities and acting as a model of best practice both in the UK and internationally. The objective of UKHIRN is to make a significant global impact through sharing best practice, promoting partnerships between academia, industry and the NHS, training and career development opportunities, and public engagement.

*Arthritis Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the MRC, the National Institute of Health Research, the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (Welsh Government), the Chief Scientist Office (Scottish Government Health Directorates), and the Wellcome Trust.