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Our Operating Principles


Published: 06 April 2022

Version: 1.0

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  • We prioritise the challenges that are most important to those who use, work in and manage health and social care services and that could most benefit from research evidence.
  • We accelerate the translation of discoveries and partner with others to ensure our evidence is used to improve everyday practice.
  • We track progress against our goals and strive to ensure that our research addresses the needs of patients, service users, carers, communities and the public.


  • The quality of our researchers, research outputs and training is world-leading, and we have a highly skilled research design and delivery workforce.
  • We embrace the latest developments in technology, research data and methods and knowledge mobilisation.
  • We operate to the highest standards of integrity and transparency in our funding and commissioning processes, and ensure that our evidence is accessible and actively disseminated.


  • We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion in everything we do.
  • Diverse people and communities shape our research, and we strive to make opportunities to participate in research an integral part of everyone’s experience of health and social care services.
  • We develop researchers from multiple disciplines, specialisms, geographies and backgrounds, and work to address barriers to career progression arising from characteristics such as sex, race or disability.


  • We partner with the NHS, public health and social care systems, people and communities, universities, government, regulators, the devolved administrations, industry, charities and other research funders to maximise our collective impact.
  • We encourage collaboration across disciplines and specialisms, between researchers and the public, and within our own organisation.
  • We foster equitable partnerships with researchers and institutions in low and middle income countries.


  • We are sound custodians of public money.
  • We have a strong track record of improving the efficiency of research and of generating evidence that enables health and social care systems to become more effective.
  • We have a culture of continuous improvement, finding ways to simplify and streamline our processes, improve our communications and accessibility, harness the power of digital technology, and enhance people’s experience of working with and for us.