How we influence and inform policy

By influencing and informing policy, we can help the research that we and others fund have as much impact as possible.

We work with a wide range of partners – including governments, research funders, learned societies, charities and commercial organisations – in the UK, Europe and globally. 

Why it’s important

Our policy work covers a broad range of issues – from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.

We also lead discussions about how to improve the world’s ability to respond to health challenges, such as drug-resistant infections and epidemics.

The research that we fund can have a direct impact on policy – for example, by informing guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).

What we’re doing

Improving the research environment

To support research we:

Our focus has traditionally been on improving UK research. 

Over the past five years we’ve also been focusing on policy at the European Union (EU) level. EU legislation and research funding programmes have a big impact on how research is done in the UK. 

Advising on global health challenges

We advise on policies affecting global health challenges.

These include:

Supporting researchers

The work of the researchers we fund can influence policy guidelines.

For example:

We support the International Network for Government Science Advice, a new initiative to help: 

In April 2016, the Alliance for Useful Evidence and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing published a report, Using evidence: what works, which we part-funded. It explores how to enhance the use of research in policy-making. 

Influencing education policy

We’re committed to making inspiring, high-quality science education available to all young people.

This includes:

Influencing policy that affects charities

We advise on the operating environment for charities in the UK, including charity tax regulations.


Influencing policy

Science policy affects a broad range of issues, ranging from data sharing and gene editing, to intellectual property and regulation.


Regulation creates an environment where research and innovation can flourish. 

Research environment

The UK has a world-leading research environment.

Reports and consultations

How we support research careers

Find out about the funding we offer and other ways we support careers in research