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Public health research impacting on policy


The Cambridge Institute of Public Health and the PublicHealth@Cambridge Network have launched the Public Health: Research into Policy pilot to explore ways to strengthen links between public health researchers at the University and policymakers. As part of the project the team have put together case studies to show how Cambridge researchers are engaging with policy through their research.

See the case studies below and read more at the Research into Policy website. The project coordinator is Lauren Milden:


Case Study 1 Effect of WHO Guidelines on Meningitis Vaccinations

Dr Caroline Trotter and her team at Cambridge’s Department of Veterinary Medicine have used mathematical modelling to help ensure that World Health Organisation guidelines provide the most robust and effective approach to meningitis vaccinations in Sub-Saharan Africa. To learn more about this case study of public health policy engagement click here.


Case Study 2 Research on Portion Size

Professor Theresa Marteau and her team at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit conducted a Cochrane systematic review producing the most conclusive evidence to date that people consistently consume more food and drink when offered larger-sized portions, packages or tableware than when offered smaller-sized versions. This has informed Public Health England’s report on sugar reduction and continues to influence the debate on tackling obesity. To learn more about this case study of public health policy engagement click here.


Case Study 3 Future of Primary Care

Professor Martin Roland CBE, Emeritus Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Cambridge, used a career’s worth of research and insight to help shape the future of primary care. This included chairing a government commission on the primary care workforce and working hard to ensure that the Commission’s recommendations were effectively communicated to the relevant policymakers. To learn more about this case study of public health policy engagement click here.


Case Study 4: Impacting NICE guidelines through the consultation process


Dr Robbie Duschinsky, of Cambridge’s Primary Care Unit at the School of Clinical Medicine, mobilised international colleagues to ensure draft NICE guidelines that had the potential to impact on the experiences and outcomes of children suspected of being the victims of maltreatment were revised to reflect the most robust and up-to-date evidence. To learn more about this case study of public health policy engagement click here.


Case Study 5  Understanding the cumulative risk of pollutants


Professor Douglas Crawford-Brown, recently retired Director of the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, part of the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge, has spent a career using academic research to help governments, businesses and communities respond to the challenge of environmental change. Part of his research at Cambridge has been answering policymakers’ questions around the cumulative risk of pollutants in water so that they can better understand and tackle the problem.


The case for public health policy engagement – the sixth in our series of case studies


Case Study 6: Serving as Economic Advisor for the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance


Dr Flavio Toxvaerd is a Lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Economics. From 2014 to 2016 he served as the Economic Advisor for the Government and Wellcome Trust-commissioned independent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. In May 2016 the Review published its 10 recommendations around how we can tackle this worsening global public health crisis.

About Us

We aim to support public policy research across Cambridge University, working with colleagues in science, social science, the arts and humanities, to apply new thinking to public policy problems and promote research and analysis into the public policy process. We hope to connect and raise the profile of existing public policy related work across the University and support collaborative research that includes policy development in a range of subject areas. 

Contact us if you are interested in joining the initiative or would like to know more.