Long-term Research Agenda A programme exploring how research can contribute to the UK’s future resilience and preparedness for health shocks in the wake of COVID-19.

  • A new research programme to develop a UK-wide, shared vision for the long-term research agenda in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Highly participatory to ensure input from a wide range of groups including those most impacted by the pandemic.  
  • The Health Foundation is supported by Wellcome and Nuffield Foundation as strategic advisors on the programme.

About the programme

The long-term impacts of COVID-19 stretch far beyond our usual measures for health, and the consequences for health outcomes and global recovery are not yet understood. It will be important to look at the broader impacts of the pandemic, including research on inequalities, health service and social care delivery and population health, and the implications for policymakers. 

The Health Foundation has established this programme to develop a shared vision for the evidence requirements supporting the UK’s recovery from COVID-19.   

It aims to contribute to building our resilience and preparedness for future health shocks and to equitable and sustainable health outcomes in the future.    

Our focus

The programme is exploring key research questions which have emerged during the pandemic, looking particularly at where there has been greatest impact on health inequalities. 

The knowledge and evidence required for a successful recovery from the pandemic will be significant. The programme focuses on the long-term social, political, economic and public health research agenda in relation to: 

  • health and care outcomes and their distribution across society – this includes the direct impact on wellbeing, morbidity and mortality through this period and beyond, as well as the indirect impact caused by socio-economic changes in response to the pandemic and the influence on the wider determinants of health;
  • the structure and delivery of health and social care services, including future provision and demand for services, potential for service innovation, access to services, quality and efficiency;
  • public health systems; and 
  • policymaking to plan, prepare and manage key threats to health in the future and the co-ordination of policies across sectors. 

The research process

The programme seeks to create a shared vision for the long-term research agenda. Ipsos MORI, working with partners RAND Europe and The Strategy Unit, are supporting the Health Foundation in engaging with stakeholders to draw out the main research themes. 

The programme is designed to be highly inclusive and participatory. It will bring together experts from across disciplines (including funders, policy and practice) together with the public, including those from underrepresented and diverse groups that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. 

This will provide a unique opportunity to explore the intersections between different groups’ experiences of the pandemic, and the implications for research, through a detailed and in-depth deliberative process.

This in-depth deliberative process will include:

  • a series of funder and health systems expert scoping interviews
  • a pilot workshop with the Health Foundation’s inclusion panel
  • four workshops with organisations representing diverse and underrepresented groups
  • 34 Delphi interviews with research and policy experts (aiming to begin building consensus)
  • three online deliberative summits, bringing together a mix of stakeholder groups to explore research priorities and the potential for consensus on a research agenda
  • a roundtable event and consultation survey. 

Aims and outcomes

The results of these broad engagement activities will be used to identify, refine and develop a set of research areas and questions, informing and influencing key agendas across funders, policymakers and the wider research community. In doing so, it will provide a platform for further action and debate on key issues and research challenges emerging from COVID-19. 

It will also help to bring together stakeholders and academics who have been exploring and tracking the impact of COVID-19. This convening will provide opportunities to discuss a cross-sector response to key social, economic and public health, and policy requirements that can helpfully support the country to build resilience to future health shocks.

If you would like to find out more about the programme, please email covid.agenda@health.org.uk 

Generating a research agenda to support resilience

Newsletter feature
29 June 2021

A collaborative programme is developing a shared long-term vision for the research priorities most likely to support the UK’s response to COVID-19. 

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