Research UseProjects in research use
Projects in research use

The EPPI Centre leads a number of different projects in the area of research use:

UK What Works Centres: Aims, methods and contexts (2018)

This project investigated the UK What Works Centres, detailing their aims, the broad strategies and specific activities used to meet these aims, and the contexts in which they sit. The project highlights key similarities and differences in the approaches and outputs of the Centres, and discusses the implications of this comparison to help inform the planning of current and prospective What Works Centres. It was produced by the EPPI Centre, funded by ESRC and supported by the Centres and the Cabinet Office What Works Team.

EPPI Centre contact: David Gough

Systematic review of variables used in NCDS and BCS70 adult sweeps and literature reviews of scientific contribution of cohort studies: Protocol

After substantial investment by research councils and government departments, academics, and cohort participants themselves, the National Child Development Study (NCDS) reaches its 60th year. At this milestone, how can we take stock of the contribution of the study to social science and other disciplines, and what can we learn to help design future sweeps of data collection in the NCDS and other cohort studies? Similarly, what can patterns of data usage of data from the 1970 British Birth Cohort study (BCS70), whose members are approaching 50, tell us to help improve future survey design? This study addresses this challenge through employing systematic review methods to understand the contribution of the NCDS and BCS70 and aims to (i) create an approximate census of all studies that have included primary analyses of adult sweeps of the NCDS and BCS70 in order to better understand the characteristics of studies and users; and (ii) systematically review the findings from studies that used data from adult sweeps of the NCDS and BCS70 to address a number of defined research questions/review a number of defined topic areas; and (iii) produce (non-systematic) literature reviews examining the scientific contribution of NCDS and BCS70 studies.

NICE Research Support Unit: Social Values Update Judgement

The independent advisory bodies tasked with developing NICE’s guidance are required to interpret the evidence they are presented with and to make judgements, for example, about how to deal with uncertainty and poor quality evidence. These judgements are of two inter related types. Scientific value judgements are about interpreting the quality and significance of the evidence available; social value judgements relate to societal rather than scientific considerations.

‘‘Social value judgements – principles for the development of NICE guidance’ is a NICE Board document that summarises the social value judgement that NICE’s advisory bodies should take into account when developing guidance. The first edition appeared in 2005 and the second, a substantial update and re-write, in 2008 (NICE 2008). As with other NICE documents, it is appropriate for the SVJ document to be reviewed periodically particularly given to the changes in NICE’s remit and health and social care policy. A proposal to update the document was discussed by NICE’s senior management team (SMT) on 8 January 2013” (SVJ PID Vs5). To inform the development of new update of the SVJ an academic literature review of relevant research is required.

This project undertook a systematic review and assessment called Social Values Related to the Development of Health and Care Guidance: Literature review for NICE by its Research Support Unit to ascertain whether the 2008 principles are still sound and to identify new social values for possible inclusion. This was achieved through three inter related study components. The first study component aimed to identify as many social values as possible that may be relevant to the development of NICE guidance. The second component aimed to then identify and then analysed what is known about these social values that may be relevant to NICE guidance including whether there is any evidence to suggest whether they may change over time. As social values may interact with each other, the third component aimed to examine what is known about such interactions that might be relevant to NICE guidance. 

EPPI Centre contact: David Gough

The Science of using science

This project explored what approaches work in enabling the use of research by policy makers, practitioners and members of the public. The project produced a systematic review, policy report and launch event in April 2016. It was a collaboration between the Wellcome Trust, the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the Alliance for Useful Evidence, in association with the EPPI Centre. 

EPPI Centre contact: David Gough


Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe

The Evidence Informed Policy and Practice in Education in Europe (EIPPEE) project is a two-year project, from March 2011 to August 2013. The project aims to increase the use of evidence to inform decision-making in education policy and practice across Europe. The EIPPEE project is funded by the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture under the Lifelong Learning: 2020 strategy (Agreement number EAC-2010-1395) with additional support from the UCL Institute of Education, University of London.

Catalyst Project

Funded under the Research Councils UK (RCUK) Catalyst programme, the purpose of the Catalyst funding is to embed public engagement with research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The UCL Institute of Education's project aims to develop the Institute's capacity to actively involve the public in its research work. Click here for more information about public engagement at the IOE.

EPPI Centre contact: Sandy Oliver


Research Advisory Service

This new consultancy service aims to help those who are interested in, or wanting to, find out about and/or use research to do so. The service offers independent expertise on a wide range of issues in education and related areas (such as social care or health) and support that is based upon robust, good quality research such as systematic reviews. The service draws upon global research that comprises different disciplines, subjects, research methods and perspectives.

EPPI Centre contact: David Gough


The use of evidence in local public health decision-making (protocol)

The systematic review proposed here explores how research evidence is being used in public health and will guide a larger project exploring the use of evidence in public health decision-making, funded by the NIHR. The shifting culture and context of decision-making in public health strategy means that as generators and synthesisers of evidence we need to respond to these changes if we are to continue to support public health decision-makers to make informed and judicious evidence-based choices.

EPPI Centre contact: Dylan Kneale


Guidance on research impact and knowledge exchange for researchers

Designed for postgraduate researchers and academic staff at all levels, these guides aim to assist understanding of terms such as ‘research impact’ and ‘knowledge exchange’ and the key issues within them. Such terms, although now used frequently in both political and wider discourse, are rarely defined in any great detail. These guides aim to address this and to explain the different components and aspects within these debates whilst ‘myth busting’ some common misconceptions about them.

EPPI Centre contact: David Gough


NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care (NCCSC)

The EPPI Centre is one of four organisations delivering the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Collaborating Centre for Social Care. The Centre will support the development, adoption and dissemination of NICE social care guidance and quality standards. The NICE Collaborating Centre for Social Care will use NICE's methods and processes to develop social care guidance for NICE, which NICE will use as a basis for its quality standards for social care. The Centre will also support the adoption and dissemination of these quality standards.

The EPPI Centre is working with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Kent, Research in Practice (RIP), and Research in Practice for Adults (RIPfA) in this project.

EPPI Centre contact: David Gough


Department of Health reviews facility

Working closely with specific policy teams, the Health Promotion and Public Health (HP&PH) Reviews Facility undertakes policy-relevant systematic reviews of the evidence in key topic areas underpinning HP&PH decision-making. It provides a reviews facility to develop capacity for undertaking and using reviews; and develops methods for undertaking HP&PH systematic reviews, particularly with respect to drawing on a range of research designs.

EPPI Centre contact: James Thomas


The London Best Evidence in Medical Education International Collaborating Centre (BICC)

The BICC is a collaboration between University College London (UCL) and the UCL Institute of Education, and is recognised as a centre of expertise in clinical education reviews. The Centre aims to progress the work of the BEME collaboration by promoting evidence-based teaching and producing systematic reviews. As part of the international BEME board and editorial committee it supports others’ review production and publication. The BICC also conducts its own reviews in clinical education. The Centre consists of:

  • Betsy Anagnostelis; Ann Griffin; Melvyn Jones; Sophie Park; Henry Potts (UCL)
  • Nada Khan (Kings College London)
  • Mark Newman (EPPI Centre)

Email for further information, visit the website at or visit for ‘How to do a BEME systematic review’



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