Population Research UK is a proposed initiative by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and Wellcome that was scoped on their behalf by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK). Building on knowledge developed through the Hubs programme we worked with the wider community to design how to maximise the use, innovation and benefit from 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.

Scoping programme 

Key was considering a proposal that put user needs at the centre of PRUK specification how a new initiative could work alongside and collaboratively with the existing research initiatives and infrastructures that support and deliver longitudinal population research. Over 350 individual pieces of feedback were collected in the form of online surveys, interviews and small groups discussions. Input from the public was woven in at all stages. The work was supported by a Partnership Group composed of invited representatives that met regularly to make recommendations and active feedback from the wider community throughout scoping phase. 

Prospectus and outputs 

A PRUK prospectus sets out the main recommendations for delivering a new initiative. This is supported by Annexes that summarise the information collected and developed through the scoping programme. 

Population Research UK Prospectus

PRUK Design and Dialogue first consultation summary  

Public and Participant Involvement in PRUK  

Population Research UK Green Paper

PRUK Green paper consultation response summary  

HDR UK acknowledges the support of Kohlrabi Consulting and David Kausman in delivery of the scoping programme.  

Next steps 

The next steps are for the ESRC, MRC and Wellcome to consider the prospectus and decide on a commissioning model based on the recommendations, and whether any further preparatory work needs to be undertaken to ensure the data infrastructure landscape is in the best position for any future investments to be a success and add value.  

Following this, identification of a multidisciplinary and diverse leadership team might follow, with the capabilities to motivate and coordinate across a diverse set of stakeholders and the operational decisiveness to deliver long-standing benefit envisioned.  


  • For the slide deck from our launch webinar click here 
  • For answers to commonly asked Design and Dialogue questions click here 

Minutes and Actions