Efficiency Research Programme A programme involving research into ideas on the new ways of thinking that generate new knowledge, with a focus on labour productivity and workforce retention within health and social care


This programme is closed for applications.

  • The Efficiency Research Programme offered funding to innovative research ideas into issues of efficiency and sustainability that have the potential to make a transformational difference to health and social care provision in the UK.
  • Up to £500,000 was awarded to experienced research teams for projects completed over three to five years.
  • There have been three rounds of this programme. The latest round awarded seven projects with funding of up to £500,000 each. 


  • The Efficiency Research Programme was launched in 2014 and is now in its third round.  

  • In total, the Efficiency Research Programme has seen around £5.5 million awarded across 14 innovative research projects into issues of efficiency and sustainability that have potential to make transformational difference to health and social care provision in the UK. 


Each round of the programme has a specific focus: 

  • Efficiency Research Programme Round 1: The first round of this programme ran in 2014 and sought to fund projects focused on developing a better understanding of the likely impact of health care policy and process change on the efficiency or sustainability of health and social care. Four projects were funded within this round.  

  • Efficiency Research Programme Round 2: In 2016, three projects were awarded funding to conduct projects focusing on allocative efficiency, efficiency incentives, the role of technology to improve efficiency.  

  • Efficiency Research Programme Round 3: The latest round of this programme, launched in 2018, focused on labour productivity and/or workforce retention in non-hospital health and care settings (i.e. primary care and social care). Seven projects were funded through this round. 



Health care technology diffusion in the NHS and workforce impact

Research project

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) team will investigate the effect that new health care technologies have on the NHS workforce. The overall aim of the project is to support ef...

Network and competition effects in the diffusion of innovation in the NHS

Research project

​The Imperial College London project used a multidisciplinary research approach to explore the factors that influence the take-up of innovative cancer treatments in hospitals. 

Allocative efficiency of health spending on older people

Research project

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) research team will investigate how public money is allocated across health and social care services for older people with different types of needs, and the effec...

Impact of key GP characteristics on unscheduled secondary care use and patient outcomes

Research project

The Frontier Economics project examined whether GPs who are involved in training, commissioning and other initiatives achieve better outcomes for patients with long-term conditions, and contribute to ...

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