The UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) was established in 2017 to increase investment in prevention research in the UK. The vision is to improve population health, and reduce health inequalities, through the primary prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
NCDs, which include heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic respiratory conditions, pose a significant health burden to the UK and the proportion of the UK population with NCDs is increasing. This health burden is also associated with significant economic costs to health and social care systems and to the wider society.
NCDs have common ‘upstream’ determinants such as the built and natural environment; employment, education, welfare, transport, health and social care, and communication systems; and the policies of local and central government and of commercial enterprises. Targeting these upstream influences on risk factors for NCDs can provide more effective and sustainable ways of combating NCDs. However, this requires multidisciplinary approaches to developing effective strategies and interventions for preventing NCDs reducing health inequalities.
The UKPRP seeks to foster new multidisciplinary approaches to population health research by building on the lessons learnt from its predecessor (the National Prevention Research Initiative) and the report by the Academy of Medical Sciences on ‘Improving the Health of the Public by 2040’.
The UKPRP multi-funder partnership will:
- build and support research teams, containing a range of relevant disciplines, to develop, implement and evaluate generalisable and scalable preventive policies, practices, designs and interventions which will enable change within complex adaptive systems to prevent NCDs.
- deliver solutions for large-scale and cost-effective improvements in health and the prevention of NCDs that meet the needs of providers and policy makers and are responsive to the challenging timescales of policy making. This will involve co-production of research with the public, policy makers, professionals and those likely to implement the intervention.
The UKPRP will extend the existing academic networks in prevention research by enabling public health specialists to join with other experts such as engineers, architects, computer scientists and social scientists. These more innovative and diverse research teams should have the capability to drive the broad systems-level changes that will be required.
Further information on the UKPRP vision, objectives and rationale can be found in our vision document (PDF, 114KB).
How UKPRP addresses under-representation in research can be found in our statement.