One of the International Public Policy Observatory’s key roles is to encourage useful new connections among all those working on responses to the social impacts of COVID-19 and the pandemic recovery. This directory presents an overview of many such organisations, networks and projects throughout the UK (and even beyond), arranged according to IPPO’s seven broad policy topic areas (in terms of their main area of focus) plus an eighth on ‘data collection’.
There are, of course, also a number of organisations, like IPPO, which work across all of these areas – we list these under ‘multiple social impacts’. All entries marked with an asterisk receive funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
If you would like to add your organisation or project to this list, or adjust an existing entry, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), supports independent, high quality social and economic research which has an impact on business, the public sector and civil society.
The International Public Policy Observatory (IPPO) aims to mobilise and assess evidence from around the world to inform UK policy makers.
The Economics Observatory (ECO) bridges the gap between academic research, government policy and the general public. Its goal is to provide balanced and reliable answers to the economics questions that Covid-19 and its aftermath will bring.
The EPPI-Centre at UCL is committed to informing policy and professional practice with sound evidence through two main areas of its work: systematic reviews and research use.
The International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA) provides a forum for policy makers, practitioners, national academies, scientific societies and researchers to share experience, build capacities, and develop theoretical and practical approaches to the use of scientific evidence in informing policy at all levels of government.
The Social Science Research Park (SPARK) at the University of Cardiff aims to develop innovative solutions to societal problems through collaborative research activity.
The Scottish Policy and Research Exchange (SPRE) supports researchers and officials as they seek smart solutions to policy challenges. It is a network of professionals working together to deliver evidence-informed policy in practice.
Pivotal, based in Northern Ireland, is a new future-facing public policy forum, focused on evidence-based ideas and policies to improve our society, economy, and public services.
The Policy Impact Unit (PIU) at UCL provides professional policy engagement expertise and skills to help increase the use of research-based evidence by policymakers.
Maintained by IPPO’s partner, the EPPI-Centre, the Living map organises systematic reviews of social sciences research evidence on Covid-19 by topic, population, and other selected review characteristics.
The Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) systematically collects information on several different common policy responses that governments have taken to respond to the pandemic on 23 indicators. It now has data for more than 180 countries.
Youth Futures Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation established in December 2019 to improve employment outcomes for young people from marginalised backgrounds.
The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is an independent fellowship of scholars and researchers, a funding body that supports new research, and a forum for debate and engagement.
The Centre for Cities is the leading think tank dedicated to improving the economies of the UK’s largest cities and towns, and it conducts research into the pandemic recovery through the lens of cities.
Co-funded by the University of Bristol and Wellcome, the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research is researching the social impacts of COVID on BAME communities; mental health; housing, communities and cohesion; living online; and vulnerable individuals and communities.
The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and healthcare for people in the UK. It is investigating the social impacts of Covid-19 in the areas of care; vulnerable communities; mental health; and living online.
Although it focuses primarily on economic affairs, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has released publications, working papers, and reports regarding the policy areas of mental health; vulnerable individuals and communities; and education.
The Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex is conducting research into the impact of the pandemic on mental health; housing, communities and cohesion; vulnerable individuals and communities; the experiences of BAME communities; and living online.
The University of Glasgow’s MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit works to understand how different factors affect the health and wellbeing of people and populations. It is conducting research in the areas of education; mental health; vulnerable individuals and communities; living online; and care homes and adult social care.
NatCen is an independent social research centre, conducting research into the social impacts of COVID-19 in the areas of mental health; housing, communities and cohesion; education; and living online.
The Nuffield Foundation, an independent charitable trust, is working on research in the areas of education; vulnerable individuals and communities; mental health; living online; and housing, communities and cohesion.
The Policy Institute at King’s College London works to solve society’s challenge with expert expertise. It has been tracking public attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour throughout the coronavirus crisis.
Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow sets out to generate, and provide a space for local, national and international public policy debates. It is conducting research into the social impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable individuals and communities; education; and housing, communities and social cohesion.
The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Post-Covid Futures Commission aims to build a fairer and more resilient society through addressing both immediate challenges and longer-term policy and practice questions. It is investigating the social impacts of Covid-19 in the areas of housing, communities and cohesion; mental health; BAME; vulnerable individuals and communities; and data collection.
Led by the University of Essex, the Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC) is an ESRC-funded collaboration between universities that is researching COVID-related social impacts in education; housing, communities and social cohesion; experiences of BAME communities; and vulnerable individuals and communities.
The Wales Centre for Public Policy collaborates with leading policy experts to provide ministers, the civil service and public services with high quality evidence and independent advice that helps them to improve policy decisions and outcomes.
A collaboration between five Welsh Universities, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data (WISERD) is working on projects in areas of education; living online; care homes and adult social care; and vulnerable individuals and communities.
UPEN is a community of UK universities committed to increasing the impact of research on policy. UPEN, chaired by Professor Matthew Flinders, offers a dedicated contact point for policymakers, and a collective response to requests for evidence. It organises knowledge exchange events with government, parliament, devolved bodies, and identifies mechanisms to take forward specific projects. UPEN is also developing best practice amongst universities in policy engagement activities, and will act as a champion for this relatively new role within universities.
The Campaign for Social Science COVID-19 hub was launched to highlight the vital contribution of the social sciences to the pandemic response; it brings together a range of resources and provides easy access to portals and hubs developed by universities, think tanks, learned societies and other research institutions.
This Knowledge Hub, a collaboration between Academia Europaea and Cardiff University, acts as a catalyst for knowledge exchange to: (1) connect research and scholarship with policymaking in Europe and the wider world; (2) promote outstanding research, facilitated by a programme of events and effective outreach; and (3) maximise engagement with stakeholders and the wider public.
LSE’s ‘Shaping the Post-COVID World’ initiative is convening a debate about the direction the world could and should be taking after this crisis, specifically in the areas of education; vulnerable individuals and communities; and care homes and adult social care.
The Strategy Unit is a specialist NHS team, based in the Midlands, that focuses on the application of high-quality, multi-disciplinary analysis. It has compiled this evidence tracker, summarising COVID-19-related evidence in a number of topic areas.
Usher Network for COVID-19 Evidence Reviews (UNCOVER)
The Usher Network for COVID-19 Evidence Reviews, a network of population health researchers and information specialists, has put together a register of COVID-19 Evidence Reviews surrounding both medical and social impacts of the pandemic.
Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE)*
The Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), based at the University of Manchester, examines how changing patterns of ethnicity and inequalities relate to the ways in which ethnic identities are perceived, acted upon and experienced.
Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies
The Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies at the University of Leeds is an interdisciplinary centre, engaging the fields of race and ethnicity to identify and unpack current trends in the global and political order.
Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE)
The University of Birmingham’s Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE) works to close gaps in education achievement and improve educational experience and career outcomes of Black and minority ethnic people.
Institute of Race Relations (IRR)
The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) produces research and analysis that informs the struggle for racial justice in Britain, Europe and internationally.
NHS Race and Health Observatory
The NHS Race and Health Observatory works to identify and tackle ethnic inequalities in health and care by facilitating research, making health policy recommendations and enabling long-term transformational change.
Race Equality Foundation
The Race Equality Foundation promotes race equality in social support and public services through developing evidence-based better practice.
Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC)
The Care Policy and Evaluation Centre at the LSE is an international research centre conducting research in areas of long-term care, mental health and developmental disabilities across the life course.
Centre for Research in Health and Social Care
The University of Bristol’s Centre for Health and Social Care generates new insights into contemporary health and social care problems for diverse populations.
Coram Family and Childcare
Coram Family and Childcare focuses on childcare and the early years to make a difference to families’ lives now and in the long-term, conducting research to provide definitive data on the issues families face.
Improving Adult Care Together (IMPACT)*
The ESRC and Health Foundation-funded Improving Adult Care Together (IMPACT) centre is dedicated to implementing evidence in adult social care. (In planning phase)
The King’s Fund
The King’s Fund is an independent charitable organisation working to improve health and care in England available to all.
Research and Economic Analysis for Long term (REAL) Centre
The Health Foundation’s Research and Economic Analysis for the Long term (REAL) Centre provides independent analysis and research to support long-term decision making in health and social care.
School for Social Care Research (SSCR)
The NIHR-funded School for Social Care research is a partnership of seven leading universities in adult social care research. Commissioning and conducting research, it strives to develop the evidence base to inform and improve adult social care practice.
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) co-produces, shares, and supports the use of the best available knowledge and evidence about ‘what works’ in social care.
Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH)
Established by the NIHR, Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) sets out to bring together care home staff, residents and their families with researchers.
Supporting Adult Social Care Innovation (SASCI)*
The ESRC-funded Supporting Adult Social Care Innovation (SASCI) project sets out to bring together partners and stakeholders to build up evidence of innovation in adult social care.
Centre for Higher Education Transformations (CHET)
The Centre for Higher Education Transformations (CHET) at the University of Bristol is committed to empirical and conceptual analyses of the economic, social, and cultural dynamics of globalised higher education.
Centre for Leadership, Educational Effectiveness & Policy (LEEP)
The University of Southampton’s Leadership, Educational Effectiveness and Policy (LEEP) is a research centre, producing evidence in a wide range of education areas.
Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID)
The Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity (CREID) University of Edinburgh undertakes high quality research to inform policy and practice in the pursuit of equality.
Education Policy Institute
The Education Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent research institute seeking to promote high quality education outcomes for children and young people from all social backgrounds.
Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) is an independent think tank devoted to the study of higher education, and it sets out to shape the higher education policy debate through evidence.
Institute of Education (IoE)
The Institute of Education (IoE) at UCL is a centre for research and teaching in education and social science.
National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER)
The National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) is a provider of research insights in education aiming to improve outcomes for future generations and support positive change across education systems.
Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL)
The Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the University of Cambridge pioneers research into overcoming barriers to education.
Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) at the University of Cambridge provides evidence and analysis to influence and support better policy and practice.
Institute for Community Studies
The Institute for Community Studies engages with communities and experts across the UK to see what’s working and share where there are weaknesses and gaps in our understanding.
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with concentrations in Housing as well as Cities, Towns and Neighbourhoods, is an independent social change organisation working to solve UK poverty.
LSE Housing and Communities
LSE’s Housing and Communities, part of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, investigates the impact of policies on social housing and other tenures with a particular focus on residents in disadvantaged areas.
UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE)*
Led by the University of Glasgow and funded by the ESRC, the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) is a multidisciplinary partnership between academia, housing policy, and practice.
Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network
Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network aims to create a more integrated, less divided society and strengthen good relations across differences by offering academic research, consultancy, training, networking and various events.
Housing and Communities research network
The Housing and Communities Research Network at the University of Birmingham seeks to improve links and build an active research community, and provide stimulus for new research partnerships.
Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN)
The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) brings together housing, health and social care professionals to exemplify housing solutions for an ageing population.
Housing Quality Network (HQN)
The Housing Quality Network (HQN) offers research and analysis written by experts, as well as conferences and workshops to all of its members.
Centre for Mental Health
The Centre for Mental Health is a charity providing research, economic analysis, and policy influence in mental health.
Centre for Society and Mental Health (CSMH)*
The ESRC-funded Centre for Society and Mental Health at King’s College London develops research to promote and sustain good mental health in communities.
Institute of Mental Health
The University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health, a partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, aims to advance mental healthcare through excellence in research.
Institute of Mental Health (IoMH)
The Institute of Mental Health (IoMH) at UCL is a centre for research into mental disorders, aiming to unite researchers behind the goal of improving the understanding of mental health.
Mental Health Foundation
In collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge, Swansea, Strathclyde, and Queen’s University Belfast, the Mental Health Foundation is leading an ongoing, UK-wide, cross-sectional study investigating the effects of the pandemic on metal health.
NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit (MHPRU)
The NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit (MHPRU), established by UCL and King’s College London, produces evidence and expert use for policy making.
UCL and Wellcome Trusts’ COVID-Minds Network aims to support the establishment of longitudinal studies to explore the effects of the pandemic, establish international collaboration, and catalogue and disseminate findings.
The Lancet COVID-19 Resource Centre
The COVID-19 Resource Centre, created by The Lancet medical journal, brings together COVID-related research, reviews, commentary, news, and analysis from across the Lancet family journals. It features research in the area of mental health.
NIHR Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration (MH-TRC)
The NIHR Mental Health Translational Research Collaboration (MH-TRC) is a network of centres of excellence in mental health translational and clinical research that facilitates collaboration with charities and industry partners.
Covid:WIRED* is a collection of over 400 findings from research that have been organised with wellbeing domains on the vertical axis and dimension of inequality along the horizontal axis. Find out more about the data behind the dashboard here and watch a short explainer video here.
Link: contact form
Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit)*
Led by the Business Schools at the Universities of Sussex and Leeds, the Digital Futures at Work Centre (Digit) aims to advance understanding of how digital technologies are reshaping work, impacting on employers, employees, job seekers, and governments.
Oxford Internet Institute (OII)
The University of Oxford’s Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is a multidisciplinary research and teaching department, dedicated to the social science of the internet.
The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity
The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity is a consortium of 22 research institutions, which collaborates with academia, industry, adn government to deliver research that spans the physical and behavioural sciences.
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion conducts research on the relationship between social and public policies and multiple forms of social and economic disadvantages.
Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC)
Imperial College London’s Patient Experience Research Centre (PERC) is a multidisciplinary group of clinicians, public health specialists and social scientists, researching the experiences of vulnerable individuals and communities during the pandemic.
Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF)
The University of East Anglia’s Centre for Research on Children and Families (CRCF) undertakes research on a wide range of child and family issues in order to advance understand og the development of children and the diverse meanings of families.
Centre for Vulnerable Children and Families
The Centre for Vulnerable Children and Families at University of Greenwich focuses on benefiting the lives of vulnerable children and their families across a broad range of contexts.
Charity AgeUK carries out research on the health, social and economic issues of ageing, undertaking literature reviews and developing indices of dimensions of ageing.
Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR)
Lancaster University’s Centre for Ageing Research (C4AR) conducts interdisciplinary research around aging, older people, and age-related disease.
Centre for Abuse Research (CARe)
The Centre for Abuse Research (CARe) at the University of Suffolk sets out to improve the evidence base on domestic abuse to inform service provision and policy design.
Women’s Aid is a national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. It conducts research projects on key issues to ensure to ensure that it is leading the way in evidence and data on domestic abuse.
Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB)
The University of East London’s Centre for Research on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) aims to build knowledge and understanding of the related issues of migration, refugees, and belonging through research, teaching, and dissemination.
Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS)
The Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford conducts research, develops theory, and facilitates knowledge exchange in the field of migration.
Refugee Studies Centre (RSC)
The University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre (RSC) aims to build knowledge and understanding of the causes and effects of forced migration in order to help improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Centre for Homelessness Impact
The Centre for Homelessness Impact is an independent organisation that supports the use of data and evidence in bringing about a sustainable end to homelessness.
Women’s Budget Group
The Women’s Budget Group is an independent and not-for-profit membership network consisting of women’s voluntary organisations, academics and policy experts whose aims are to promote a gender equal economy.
Vulnerable children and families:
Children and young people living in poverty: COVID-19 needs and policy implications*
Disabled people in the UK and the impact of COVID-19*
Health, social, economic & cultural impacts of COVID-19 on migrant essential workers in the UK*
Outreach to domestic abuse victims in times of quarantine*
The homeless/rough sleepers:
COVID-19 and rough sleepers: a RCT to evaluate models of housing and support to reduce infection and homelessness*
Modern slavery victims:
COVID-19 Risk and Response: Impacts and mitigations for modern slavery victims and survivors*
Coping with the COVID Crisis in Prison*
Administrative Data Research (ADR) UK*
Administrative Data Research (ADR) UK’s aims to transform the way researchers access the UK’s wealth of public sector data, making high quality evidence less expensive and time-consuming, as well as ensuring that evidence from academic research focuses on what the government needs most to make policy decisions and deliver effective services.
The Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC)*
The Consumer Data and Research Centre, run out of UCL and Leeds University, leads academic engagement between industry and the social sciences to utilise consumer data for academic research purposes.
The EPPI-Centre is committed to informing policy and professional practice with sound evidence through two main areas of its work: systematic reviews and research use.