Developing local authority champions of research through an embedded research culture

A proof of concept project

This project was funded between March 2019 and September 2019.

  • A scoping exercise of different approaches currently being used to support evidence-informed policy and practice to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities in local government settings.
  • Aims to develop a logic model for embedding a research culture within local government.
  • Carried out by Newcastle University, in partnership with Southampton University, Queens University Belfast and colleagues in three local authorities.
  • To be completed in September 2019.

The transition of public health responsibilities from the NHS to local government in England offers an opportunity to make population health and wellbeing the core business – not only of public health departments, but of all departments in a local authority. It creates new opportunities and challenges to ensure the use of evidence is firmly embedded in an environment with a different understanding of, and capacity for, the generation and use of evidence.

The research includes:

  • a scoping exercise of the different approaches being currently used to support evidence-informed policy and practice in local government settings
  • developing a logic model for embedding a research culture within local government through a case study approach
  • learning from an embedded researcher working within one project
  • adjusting the logic model and developing recommendations for how the model could be generalised for use elsewhere in England and across different jurisdictions
  • testing the feasibility of approaches to evaluation.

Planned outputs are:

  • a review of embedded research models with a specific focus on learning for embedded research in local government
  • a logic model for of the ‘what, why and how’ of embedding a research culture in local government in which the use of evidence and evaluation is established as usual practice
  • a summary report of the feasibility findings concerning the potential evaluation methods that could be used to measure the impact of local authority champions of research.

Contact details

Professor Ashley Adamson
Professor of Public Health Nutrition and NIHR Research Professor, Newcastle University

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