Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Securing better health, ageing and wellbeing

Improve population health, tackle the health inequalities affecting people and communities, and advance interventions that keep us healthier for longer.

2023 to 2029
Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Research England, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC),

The scope and what we're doing

Through our five year strategy Transforming Tomorrow Together 2022 to 2027, UKRI aims to harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges. To do this, we have identified five strategic themes to enable working across disciplines and leveraging new and existing investment and activity.

Securing better health, ageing and wellbeing is one of the strategic themes. It will address the challenges around:

  • ageing
  • multiple long-term conditions
  • poor mental health
  • health inequalities which place a strain on people, businesses, and public services

It works with partners across sectors to progress approaches for prevention, diagnosis and treatment.


Population health improvement and health inequalities

We will establish a national research network to progress interventions that benefit the health of populations, prevent illness and close the gap between the richest and the poorest. We will also set up a new Centre in Climate Change and Health.

Ageing throughout life

We will support coordination and research to probe the biological mechanisms of ageing, including environmental, social and cultural influences, with the aim of developing interventions that will keep us healthier for longer.

Mental health

We will build a new mental health research platform to harness and share a wide range of data and key capabilities to advance the detection, prevention and tailored treatment of mental illness.

Digital health

We will amplify council activities in advanced data science and digital health to bolster UK strengths and promote new healthcare innovations.

Why we're doing it

Advances in medicine and public health have increased life expectancy but as health inequalities widen, more people are living with multiple conditions, and poor mental and physical health are a detriment to the quality of life for many.

Our goal is to achieve a holistic, 360-degree perspective of the biological, social, cultural and environmental influences on the physical and mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan, to:

  • strengthen prevention and interventions
  • reduce health inequalities
  • improve human health

Impacts in the longer term could include:

  • improved population health and wellbeing
  • reduced health inequalities
  • reduced gap between health span and life span
  • better patient outcomes
  • improvements in healthcare delivery
  • enhanced industry-led innovation
  • enhanced UK interdisciplinary HAW challenge-oriented research and innovation capabilities

Opportunities, support and resources available

Last updated: 13 December 2023

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