Research that influences policy and practice has the potential to transform people’s health around the world. We are working to make sure this happens more often and more rapidly.
Integrating research findings into policies and practice for health has huge benefits:
Research uptake includes all the activities that help and contribute to the use of research evidence. The uptake may be by policy makers, organisations implementing heathcare interventions, healthcare practitioners or the public.
The path from research to policy and practice is rarely straightforward. Successful research uptake takes time and requires mutual understanding and shared motivations among everyone involved. It also needs financial resources, which are often scarce, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Our vision is of a global environment that is fair and sustainable and enables people to work together to speed up the impact of research on health.
We are working towards this by:
Embedding a culture of research use into policy and practice is a complex, long-term endeavour. Policy engagement is less effective, and less sustainable, if left to individuals. It has a greater chance of success if it is underpinned by networks that share knowledge, skills and support.
We have been working with partners and staff at our Africa and Asia Programmes to provide a platform for knowledge exchange between people and organisations with diverse experience.
Our inaugural policy engagement gathering was in London in 2018, followed by a second meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi, in February 2019. We then held a virtual workshop in September 2020.
Read our reports:
We have made four awards to support systemic approaches to the use of research in policy and practice.
These 18-month pilots, based at our Africa and Asia Programmes, each take a different approach to enhancing policy engagement and evidence-informed decision-making .
The pilots will help us understand what kinds of activities and support are most effective for creating the system-wide changes we want to see.
We commissioned the Overseas Development Institute to profile examples of how researchers are engaging and influencing policy in three of Wellcome’s overseas research programmes.