NIHR awards £3m to support Reproductive Health Policy Research Unit at UCL

August 3, 2023

The NIHR Policy Research Units (PRUs) bring together multidisciplinary teams of researchers to enable the development of research-based policy at a local and national level. The PRU researchers respond to policy research needs and develop research programmes that provide evidence for current and emerging research priorities. Ensuring that the government and policy bodies have the best possible information and evidence available when making policy decisions about health and social care.

The PRU system has been running successfully since the 1970s, offering DHSC direct access to top academics in various fields. The units have been instrumental in shaping a range of policies. The NIHR has expanded the number of PRUs it will fund for the next cycle, with 20 PRUs beginning work in January 2024. The Reproductive Health PRU is one of the newly commissioned units.

The new Reproductive Health PRU will be co-directed by Dr Jennifer Hall and Professor Judith Stephenson at UCL Institute for Women’s Health. The PRU will cover all aspects of the reproductive lifecourse, including menopause, contraception, infertility and urogynaecology, this PRU has a focus on addressing health inequalities and working in a co-produced way with people the work impacts. The PRU will be hosted at UCL, but is in collaboration with the Universities of Birmingham, Oxford and Warwick, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Hywel Dda University Health Board.

Dr Jennifer Hall, co-Director of the new Policy Research Unit in Reproductive Health said “This is a really exciting time to be setting up this unit as, whilst there are challenges in reproductive health, there are many opportunities, including recent policy attention. Everyone in the unit is passionate about the potential this unit has to raise the profile of reproductive health, and to improve the reproductive health of the population while tackling inequalities in this underserved, yet crucial area.”

The new PRU in Reproductive Health has been set up as part of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy and will contribute valuable new evidence to inform policy decisions that will improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls in line with the aims of the strategy.

For more information about the NIHR PRUs, click here.