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21/65 Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Teams (PHIRST) – Local Authority interventions


  • For help with your application contact
  • For more information about the funding Programme, visit the PHR Page

The Public Health Research (PHR) Programme are accepting expressions of interest from Local Authorities that have initiatives in need of research and evaluation. The shortlisted Expressions of Interest will be given to our Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Teams (PHIRST) to co-produce research into.

We invite Local Authorities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to submit an expression of interest to propose  specific initiatives within their work programmes that will benefit from research or evaluation input.

The PHR Programme has appointed four academic teams, via the PHIRST scheme, and is in the process of commissioning a fifth team.  Our teams are ready to work with local authorities to co-produce research on the public health impacts of initiatives. The academic teams are fully funded to co-design and undertake robust research in partnership with local authorities.

You may find it useful to see examples of the projects currently being worked on by our four teams. Two examples of the nine projects currently being worked on are the evaluation of the Hammersmith and Fulham ‘Free universal breakfast club and secondary school meals’ initiative, and the evaluation of the “No One Left Behind” employability support service in Fife.

The purpose of this call is to find those local authority initiatives which have the potential to impact on health / health inequalities, and which require research input. We anticipate high demand and will prioritise local authority initiatives:

  • that are likely to lead to important impacts (positive or negative) on population health
  • that are likely to be widely generalisable
  • where there is an identified need for the initiative
  • where the initiative is readily evaluable
  • where the source of the initiative’s funding is identified and, preferably, secured
  • where research will provide timely evidence to underpin policy or practice

How to apply

In order to apply to work with one of the PHIRST’s you will need to carefully review the:

by 1pm, 10th January 2022. Guidance on what to include in the expression of interest is contained within the specification document.