The launch of the NIHR Policy Research Unit (PRU) in Behavioural Science official, took place on 23 January 2020 at the Shard, London.
Hosted by Warwick Business School, the evening featured a keynote talk from Sir Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care.
Professor Ivo Vlaev opened the event, chaired by Professor Susan Michie. Professor Falko Sniehotta, PRU Director, presented an update on our aims and objectives, work to date and current research.
During the first year of the PRU we have provided several evidence briefings to policy makers. Our advice service for policy makers has proved to be successful in further engaging with policy partners.
Falko’s talk was followed by a keynote address from the Permanent Secretary for the Department of Health and Social Care.
Professor Susan Michie
Sir Chris Wormald discussed the role of behavioural science as a core component in a complex policy landscape.
He highlighted the importance of robust, evidence-based advice in policy making and the role that academia plays in identifying expertise. He called for researchers to be ambitious and detailed opportunities to further engage with the government.
Sir Chris Wormald
Following the talk, the audience were given the opportunity to pose questions to our panel. Our invited panellists included Simon Robinson, Senior Analyst at the Department of Health and Social Care. Simon was joined by Professors Eileen Kaner, Mike Kelly and Falko Sniehotta.
The panel discussed how important it is to use a range of robust methods to respond to policy questions. The integration of patient and public representatives in research was also raised as a key priority.
Professor Eileen Kaner, Professor Mike Kelly, Simon Robinson (DHSC), Professor Falko Sniehotta.
The event concluded with a networking reception to further discuss the topics of the evening. We welcomed attendees from the public and third sectors, higher education, government departments and members of the public.
Images by Thomas Jackson at Tynesight Photographic