What is Population Research UK?

HDR UK is leading the development of a new initiative called Population Research UK (PRUK) on behalf of the ESRC, the MRC, and Wellcome. PRUK 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.

PRUK 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.

Design and dialogue phase

To further define the requirements for Population Research UK, HDR UK is leading on behalf of the funders an open programme of design and dialogue with data owners and processors, data users and the public to develop PRUK. This scoping will put user needs at the centre of PRUK 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 PRUK.

Interested in being involved?

A Population Research UK network with open membership is being created to ensure input from all interested stakeholders. Joining the PRUK network through one of the ways outlined below will mean you are kept up to date with progress and details of the design and dialogue programme in the New Year.

How to participate:

  1. Sign up to the PRUK Design and Dialogue email mailing list at the bottom of this page.
  2. Watch the PRUK launch webinar,  recorded on 16 December, below.


You can also view the slide deck from the meeting here.

Please note: by signing up to the mailing list for PRUK, you agree to receive email updates about news and events about PRUK’s work. You can opt out at any time by emailing us or unsubscribing using the link at the bottom of any emails. HDR UK will store details for up to 5 years.

Further information

A Partnership Group composed of invited representatives from PRUK network will meet regularly to make recommendations and active feedback from the wider community throughout the design and dialogue phase.

Membership and minutes of the Partnership Group meetings will be made available on the HDR UK website. A public Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document will be available as well on the website.

If you would like to ask a question about PRUK please email james.pickett@hdruk.ac.uk. We will regularly publish public updates and responses on the HDR UK website.

Subscribe to the PRUK mailing list

* indicates required