The Government currently funds health related research through two main routes, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
The ‘Review of funding in UK health research’ led by Sir David Cooksey in 2006 resulted in the creation of the independent Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR). Cooksey had identified considerable strength in the UK science base, but revealed cultural, institutional and financial barriers to the effective translation of health research into clinical practice. The review envisioned a cultural change among the public funders of health research to address the barriers to research collaboration and to support the application and translation of basic research into patient care and economic benefit.
Since 2007, the OSCHR Board has demonstrated a powerful capacity to work across government through collaboration, addressing many of the issues required to ensure a comprehensive health research environment and leading to improved health outcomes and economic growth. The OSCHR process has helped to focus on the development of better NHS electronic data capabilities for research, create a research programme for public health and greatly enhance translation science. OSCHR is one of a number of fora where the public funders of health research work together with other stakeholders.
In 2011, ministers at the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) considered that OSCHR had delivered the majority of the changes to the UK health research landscape advocated in the Cooksey report. They agreed that OSCHR should continue to monitor the translational research activity funded by government and additionally explore the role the board could play in enhancing the funders’ existing contributions to economic growth through the life science sector.
- Rt Hon Professor Lord Kakkar PCI – Independent Chair – President Thrombosis Research Institute London; Chairman King’s Health Partners Academic Health Science Centre
- Professor Lucy Chappell – Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care, England
- Ms Alexandra Jones – Director, Industrial Strategy, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Dr Louise Wood CBE – Director, Science, Research and Evidence, Department of Health and Social Care (in lieu of CEO, National Institute for Health Research, England)
- Professor John Iredale – Interim Chair
- Mr Indro Mukerjee – CEO, Innovate UK
- Professor Alison Park – Interim Executive Chair, ESRC
- Dr David Sweeney – Executive Chair, Research England
- Scotland – new representative to be advised
- Professor Ian Young – Director, Health and Social Care Research & Development, Northern Ireland
- Professor Kieran Walshe – Director, Health and Care Research Wales
- Mrs Nicola Perrin – CEO, Association of Medical Research Charities
- Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar – Director, Wellcome Trust
- Dr Eliot Forster – Independent Member; Industry
- Dame Jackie Daniel – Independent Member; NHS.
For more information
Bianca D’Souza, Head of OSCHR Office, DHSC
Last updated: 3 May 2022