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What are Health Protection Research Units?

16 October, 2014

National Institute for Health and Care Research Healthcare Protection Research Units (HPRUs) are research partnerships between universities and Public Health England (PHE) and act as centres of excellence in multidisciplinary health protection research in England.

Priority areas

PHE was established in April 2013 and incorporates the responsibilities of the Health Protection Agency. The role of the HPRUs is to support PHE in delivering its objectives and functions for the protection of the public’s health in the following areas:

Topic-based priority areas:

  • Blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections
  • Chemical and radiation threats and hazards
  • Emergency preparedness and response (this HPRU)
  • Emerging infections (including zoonoses) and biological threats
  • Environmental change and health
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial resistance
  • Health impact of environmental hazards
  • Immunisation
  • Respiratory infections.

 Cross-cutting priority areas:

  • Evaluation of interventions
  • Modelling methodology.


Research funding is provided for a five-year period starting 1 April 2014 following an open competition. This funding complements existing NIHR funding streams.