In 2006, the major funders of public health research in the UK came together under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) to develop a coordinated approach to improving the UK public health research environment. The findings of the UKCRC Public Health Research Strategic Planning Group (SPG) are documented in a report, Strengthening Public Health Research in the UK.
An outcome of this report was a commitment by a consortium of eight funding partners to create five UKCRC Public Health Research Centres of Excellence. The Centres were established to build academic capacity, increase infrastructure, and promote multi-disciplinary working in public health research in the UK. The Centres have brought leading research experts together with practitioners, policy makers and wider stakeholders to tackle complex public health issues.
Awards were made on a competitive basis with each Centre funded over five years. The Centres were refunded for a further five years from 2013 to transition to sustainability. The CEDAR award funded research, capacity building and knowledge exchange at the University of Cambridge, the MRC Biostatistics Unit and at the University of East Anglia.
Five UK centres
The five Centres are:
- CEDAR, the Centre for Diet and Activity Research
- FUSE, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health www.fuse.ac.uk
- The Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland www.qub.ac.uk/coe
- The UK Centre for Alcohol and Tobacco Studies (UKCTAS) www.ukctas.ac.uk
- DECIPHer: Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health ImProvement www.decipher.uk.net
The Centres now continue as sustainable initiatives within their respective organisations. CEDAR is part of the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge.
A particular focus of CEDAR is to communicate our public health research to practice and policy.
The funding Partners contributing to the UKRCRC initiative were:
- British Heart Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- Department of Health (now Department of Health and Social Care)
- Economic and Social Research Council
- Medical Research Council
- Health and Social Care Research and Development, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland
- Wales Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care, Welsh Assembly Government
- Wellcome Trust