Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research

The independent Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research (OSCHR) is one of a number of fora where the public funders of health research work together with other stakeholders.


OSCHR was created following the Review of funding in UK health research (2006) led by Sir David Cooksey.

Sir David 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.

Work to date

OSCHR's role is to facilitate more efficient translation of health research into health and economic benefits in the UK through better coordination of health research and more coherent funding arrangements to support translation.

The NIHR has been a partner of OSCHR since its inception and is represented at the OSCHR Board meetings by Dr Louise Wood CBE, Director of the Science, Research and Evidence Directorate at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

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 NIHR has been central to this agenda and, together with the Medical Research Council and other UK health research funders, has established highly effective processes for joint working.

Although the majority of the changes to the UK health research landscape advocated in the Cooksey report had been delivered by 2011, Ministers agreed that  there remained a role for OSCHR, but that it should move towards health research policy coordination and foresight.

Board membership 

  • Professor Chris Day - Independent Chair; Vice Chancellor and President, Newcastle University
  • Professor Chris Whitty - Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care, England
  • 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 Fiona Watt - Executive Chair, MRC
  • Dr Ian Campbell - Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK
  • Professor Jennifer Rubin - Executive Chair, ESRC
  • David Sweeney - Executive Chair, Research England
  • Professor David Crossman - Chief Scientist for Health, Scotland
  • Professor Ian Young - Director, Health and Social Care Research & Development, Northern Ireland
  • Professor Kieran Walshe - Health and Care Research Wales
  • Ms Aisling Burnand MBE - CEO, Association of Medical Research Charities
  • Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar - Director, Wellcome Trust
  • Dr Eliot Forster - Independent Member; Industry

For more information please contact:  Alexandra Lee,  Head of OSCHR Office.