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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.

The UK Strategic Coordination of Health of the Public Research (SCHOPR) is a sub board to OSCHR.



OSCHR was created following the Review of funding in UK health research [PDF] (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 Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and Dr Louise Wood CBE, Director of the Science, Research and Evidence Directorate, DHSC, and Deputy CEO of the NIHR .

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

  • Rt Hon Professor Lord Kakkar PC - 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 and CEO of the NIHR
  • 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 and Deputy CEO of the NIHR 
  • Professor Fiona Watt - Executive Chair, MRC
  • Mr Indro Mukerjee - CEO, Innovate UK
  • Professor Alison Park – Interim Executive Chair, ESRC
  • Dr 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 – 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 please contact:  Alexandra Lee, Head of OSCHR Office, DHSC


SCHOPR includes a broad range of research funders who work together to provide strategic direction, enhance coordination and identify priorities for improving the health of the public research. SCHOPR’s role is to develop and deliver a transdisciplinary strategy for UK health of the public research, including identifying priority areas of research and connecting research with public health practice.


SCHOPR was established in early 2018 in response to a 2016 report by the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS), 'Improving the health of the public by 2040' [PDF]. AMS highlighted that health of the public research needed an enhanced strategic co-ordination and delivery of funding to support the transdisciplinary research required to answer population level questions and protect and improve the public’s health.

Work to date

Since its inception, SCHOPR has established a programme of activities to achieve its objectives including:

  • Advising the CMOs of the 4 UK nations on public health research principles and goals to increase the impact of the UK’s offer of the health of the public research.
  • Initiating activities with local authorities and public health practitioners  to encourage a research and evidence-based culture and increase the relevance of public health research to practice and policy.

Board membership

  • Professor Dame Anne Johnson – Independent Chair; Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Centre of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London 
  • Professor Chris Whitty – Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health and Social Care, England (DHSC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
  • Professor Jennifer Rubin – Executive Chair, Economic and Social Research (ESRC) (Deputy, Joy Todd)
  • Professor Fiona Watt – Executive Chair Medical Research Council (MRC) (Deputy, Joe McNamara)
  • Dr Mary de Silva – Head of Population Health, Wellcome (Deputy Sophie Hawkesworth)
  • Dr Phillipa Hemmings – Head of Healthcare Technologies, Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
  • Mr Michael Bowdery – Health and Care Research Wales 
  • Dr Andrew Fraser – Public Health Scotland
  • Dr Janice Bailie – Northern Ireland Public Health Agency

To find out more about SCHOPR you can visit their website