Population Research UK open consultation

Population Research UK is an initiative by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome, being scoped on their behalf by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK). After an initial consultation earlier this year on the needs and opportunities of UK longitudinal population studies, HDR UK have developed a set of proposals and recommendations for PRUK in the form of Green Paper.

Read the Population Research UK Green Paper

HDR UK have invited feedback from individuals and organisations on these proposals through online surveys and workshops. These have involved stakeholders from across the longitudinal population study community, as well as patients and members of the public.

The findings from this second round of consultation are being used to further shape the recommendations and proposals for PRUK, which will be available in due course.

You can view the outputs from the original consultation, which have informed the PRUK Green Paper here:

What is Population Research UK?

We are scoping the development of a new initiative called Population Research UK on behalf of the ESRC, the MRC, and Wellcome. Population Research UK will increase the insights, innovations and research efficiency of the UK’s wealth of social and biomedical longitudinal population studies (LPS) – cohorts, panel studies and record-linkage studies that all collect information from large numbers of individuals over time.

Through bringing studies and data together, PRUK will enable a greater understanding of the complex interplay between biological, social, economic and environmental determinants of health, social and economic outcomes, and address high-impact research questions that single studies cannot address alone.

Population Research UK Population Research UK Population Research UK will be a national data infrastructure with significant investment to support it. It will learn from and complement existing research infrastructures in an interdisciplinary way, to combine the biomedical, social and economic sciences. It will will focus on increasing access of data to new and potential users across academia, public bodies, charities and industry, and providing services and expertise to users that facilitates research. The programme will support current LPS through tackling, jointly, challenges in data curation, linkage and analytics, and create research efficiencies from doing things on behalf of the community that can benefit all.

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Design and Dialogue Phase

To further define the requirements for Population Research UK, we are managing – on behalf of the funders – an open Design and Dialogue programme with LPS leads and the teams that manage studies, researchers that use and access LPS data, wider stakeholders and the public to develop Population Research UK.

This scoping will put user needs at the centre of Population Research UK specification, and work collaboratively to learn from the existing research initiatives and infrastructures that support and deliver LPS research. Following the Design and Dialogue Programme, it is expected a funding Call will be announced jointly between the three funders in autumn 2021 for leadership and partners to deliver Population Research UK.


Further information

  • For the slide deck from the our launch webinar click here
  • For answers to commonly asked Design and Dialogue questions click here

Minutes and Actions

A Partnership Group composed of invited representatives will meet regularly to make recommendations and active feedback from the wider community throughout the design and dialogue phase. The membership and terms of reference can be viewed here.

If you would like to ask a question about Population Research UK, please email james.pickett@hdruk.ac.uk.