The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funds, enables and delivers world-leading health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing and promotes economic growth.

NIHR Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs) undertake high quality research that enhances the ability of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to protect the public’s health and minimise the health impact of emergencies.

The NIHR HPRUs focus on collaboration and knowledge sharing, and play a pivotal role in maintaining and growing UKHSA’s scientific expertise and future workforce. The multidisciplinary centres of excellence also deliver responsive research to tackle emerging or potential public health emergencies.

The NIHR HPRU in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at University of Bristol is one of 14 HPRUs across England, part of a £58.7 million investment by the NIHR to protect the health of the nation. The NIHR HPRU in Behavioural Science and Evaluation is a partnership between UKHSA and University of Bristol, in collaboration with MRC Biostatistics Research Unit at the University of Cambridge and University of the West of England.

About the NIHR

NIHR’s mission is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. The NIHR was established in 2006 and is primarily funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Working in partnership with the NHS, universities, local government, other research funders, patients and the public, the NIHR delivers and enables world-class research that transforms people’s lives, promotes economic growth and advances science.

About us

The NIHR HPRU in Behavioural Science and Evaluation at University of Bristol is a team of health researchers and behavioural scientists working together to answer key questions related to the development, evaluation, and implementation of interventions to protect health in UKHSA’s priority areas.

Our specialist multi-disciplinary team brings together researchers from a range of disciplines (including epidemiology, paediatrics, primary care, sexual health, evidence synthesis, statistics, mathematical modelling, behavioural science, health psychology, qualitative methods, health economics, trial design, knowledge mobilisation, and patient and public involvement) to provide methodological expertise on behavioural and qualitative research, evidence synthesis and evaluation methods.

Our HPRU also provides flexible resources and capacity for rapid evidence development to meet the needs arising from health protection emergencies.

Our four complementary work themes include: Intervention development: understanding risk and behaviour; Evidence synthesis; Evaluation: clinical and economic evidence; and Intervention implementation.

People and partners

The Unit’s Directors are Professor Matthew Hickman, University of Bristol, and Professor Isabel Oliver, Interim Chief Scientific Officer, UKHSA and Dr Richard Amlôt, Head of Behavioural Science, Emergency Response Department, UKHSA. Find out more about our people.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPI) is led by Dr Andy Gibson at the University of the West of England in partnership with NIHR ARC West.

We also provide support for Bristol Health Partners Health Integration Teams (HITs) concerned with health protection. HITs are cross-organisational and interdisciplinary groups set up to harness research, innovation, education, healthcare and prevention strengths to improve health outcomes. Our current health protection related HITs are: