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Our Strategy

Last updated on 6 Oct 2020

Our vision is for high-quality health and social care research that improves people’s health and wellbeing.

Today’s research is tomorrow’s treatment. As we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, research enables us to understand diseases and their impact, how to prevent them and how to treat or live better with them. It enables us to develop new healthcare technologies, devices and services.

The UK has a worldwide reputation for the quality of the research conducted here. The quality of our researchers and research institutions and the unique nature of the NHS draws global companies to conduct research here, enhancing our life sciences industry and our economy. We work to ensure that the UK builds on this reputation for quality research.

We know that patients, service users and the public want to take part in or support research. When they do take part, we owe it to them to ensure that the research study is relevant to them, ethically designed, well-managed and produces findings that are useful and widely shared. We want them to feel valued partners in research.

How do we translate our vision into what we do? We have three guiding objectives which inform how we work and what we focus on:

  • to enable high-quality research which is in the interests of participants and carried out with patient and public involvement and high standards of transparency
  • to provide a user-friendly and efficient service which facilitates a strong research environment
  • to be a knowledgeable, well-run organisation that’s true to its values

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Enabling high-quality research

We want to help researchers carry out high quality research – research which is ethical, meets the relevant standards, is well-designed and meets the needs of participants, patients and the wider public.

We do that through robust review of new and amended research studies. We also promote and enable good practice in a wider sense, focussing on transparency and openness in research, strong and effective public involvement and trustworthy use of patient data.

Providing a user-friendly and efficient service

The HRA was created to streamline and co-ordinate research across the UK, working in partnerships with devolved administrations. We aim to make it easy to navigate the research pathway and to provide services which help researchers get their study approved and set up.

We do that through streamlining the approvals process, providing intuitive systems and collaborating with regulators and other national bodies to co-ordinate and reduce research bureaucracy. Ultimately, we want to save researchers time, so that they can focus on what they do best.

Being a knowledgeable, well-run organisation

We pride ourselves for having dedicated, expert staff and volunteers who want to help researchers carry out good research. They listen to the needs of patients, the public and researchers and dedicate themselves to providing a professional and helpful service.

That means supporting, developing and enabling our staff to do well and working to ensure that we have a diverse workforce who are able to enjoy a healthy work culture. It also means paying attention to how we use our resources. As an organisation funded by the Government, we aim to use public funds wisely and focus resources on work which is most likely to achieve our strategy and benefit the nation.

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