Even in an era that has seen extraordinary improvements in human health from the application of biomedicine, a range of significant health challenges remain. These challenges involve interactions between social, cultural, environmental and biological factors, many of which operate globally as well as locally.
During the Centre’s first three years, we have focused on establishing transformative research and engagement programmes, developing partnerships with policy-makers and creative organisations, building an open research culture, and recruiting doctoral students, early career researchers, and senior staff.
Committed to engaged research that enables health and well-being, our projects have brought researchers, public partners, and health organisations together to address key health challenges, including: the health impacts of loneliness and social isolation; the value of different forms of evidence in health policy; the impact of relationships on children’s health; and community access to – and involvement in – research and data governance.
The next few years of our research will allow us to address further the health impacts of social and environmental inequalities, specifically through projects on health across the life course, ageing and dying, co-creating healthy cities, and recovering from – or living with – the social and cultural impacts of COVID-19. These research programmes will enable us to fully embed engagement and impact in our work locally, nationally and internationally, build training and career pathways in transdisciplinary research, and strengthen our commitment to an inclusive research culture.
This Centre is pioneering. And speaking as a scientist, a policymaker and a research funder, I think you are a crucible for what the community as a whole is looking for. You are looking at different methodologies and evidence to inform difficult decisions and policy issues that have frustrated and vexed us for many years.
Dr Louise Wood (Director of Science, Research and Evidence, Department of Health and Social Care)
This is, you are, an inspirational Centre. There is a responsibility to be bolder, to be more edgy, and to not be afraid of politics. Don’t worry about the 4-5 year mark, worry about the 9, 10, 12-year mark and ask the big questions that will really change our world for the better. Make the difference.
Sir Jeremy Farrar OBE (Director of the Wellcome Trust)
With the Centre’s support, we were able to offer new experiences to young people with learning difficulties and to include them and their carers in reflecting on how ‘making spaces’ might improve their wellbeing. The research we undertook together was challenging, creative and messy. We were grateful that the Wellcome Centre, with its ethos of engaged research, was so supportive of our process!
Georgie Tarling, Researcher in the community.