PHIRN support

Video: PHIRN Explained – Press Play

PHIRN’s areas of expertise are:

* Preventive health;
* Health inequalities;
* Complex interventions in community based settings;
* Behaviour change;
* Children and young people

Within these areas PHIRN offers support to organisations, research teams and individuals to increase the quantity and quality of public health improvement research that is relevant to policy and practice.

Research Development Groups

PHIRN uses Research Development Groups (RDGs) as a mechanism for the development and submission of research proposals. Research ideas are registered as RDGs once they have gone through the registration process.


  • Is a small working group, registered on the PHIRN portfolio, which typically consists of researchers, policy makers and practitioners.
  • Brings key project partners together to focus on research design and bid writing.
  • Is usually time limited and focused towards a specific funder and deadline.

PHIRN has long-standing relationships with a range of organisations and individuals and can help you identify partners and establish an effective RDG. If you have an idea for a research project, we can help you to take it forward into a registered RDG.

PHIRN has helped establish and co-ordinate 119 RDGs since 2006. Through these RDGs grant proposals have been developed and 71 have currently been funded. The projects on our portfolio span a wide range of (i) health areas such as smoking, alcohol consumption, nutrition and physical activity; (ii) populations such as young people, families and NHS patients; (iii) settings such as schools, neighbourhoods, city centres and whole countries; (iv) collaborators such as the Welsh Government, Home Office, Department of Health, schools, community workers, NHS staff and the police; and (v) funders such as the Medical Research Council, Welsh Government, National Institute for Social Care and Health Research, Arts and Humanities Research Council, Economics and Social Research Council, Welcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Clinical Excellence and National Institute for Health Research. Links to some of our funded studies are below:

E-mail Bulletin

PHIRN assists researchers in identifying funding opportunities and events at which they can showcase their research through a fortnightly e-mail bulletin. The PHIRN bulletin is sent to everyone on the PHIRN mailing list and contains forthcoming funding opportunities and events. To sign up to the bulletin, please e-mail


In addition to supporting the development of research proposals PHIRN helps to engage policy makers to use research evidence to inform policy decisions. PHIRN provides opportunities for researchers and policy makers to network and collaborate through their Seminar series in collaboration with Health Challenge Wales. For more information about these seminars please visit the Dissemination page.