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The AHRU, led by Eva Morris and Sasha Shepperd, aims to drive improvements in health care and outcomes through translational research and methodological innovation.

Our research focuses on: 

  • understanding variation in incidence, prevalence, treatment pathways and health outcomes,
  • evaluating the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of health services in relation to a range of diseases and health problems,
  • evaluating the equitable implementation of effective interventions to improve health and avoid research waste.

We advocate for the robust and innovative use of data to generate evidence to guide the design and delivery of effective and equitable health services to improve population health. We do this by conducting epidemiological research, and evidence synthesis to place our research within the context of existing evidence, randomised trials, surveys and qualitative research.

The group’s linked data assets, include national and regional hospitalisation records which run from 50 years ago to the present day, national mortality (civil registration) records, cancer registry data, and primary care records which provide extensive research opportunities. Methodological approaches developed for these datasets complement those required for other datasets in Oxford Population Health that also link to hospitalisation and other routine clinical data (such as the Million Women StudyUK Biobank, and large clinical trials), providing efficient means for testing specific hypotheses in more depth. 


We train the next generation of researchers through teaching on the MSc Global Health Science and Epidemiology and the MSc in Clinical Trials courses, supervising doctoral students and supporting research fellowships. We are a part of a new national hub, Research Support Service (RSS) which provides researchers with support before and after funding application to deliver high quality applied health, public health and social care research.

patient and public engagement (PPIE)

We are committed to forming active partnerships with patients and the public to ensure our research reflects peoples’ priorities, experiences and values. Embedding PPIE in our projects improves the governance, communication, and ultimately, the impact our research will have on peoples’ lives and the delivery of health services. We work closely with the Oxford Population Health Public Advisory Panel.

Our team

Applied Health Research Unit logo


Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) 

The CPRD team facilitates access and use of data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink to allow researchers to conduct high quality primary care research. 


A national repository of linked health data relevant to colorectal cancer, within a secure research platform open to researchers from across the UK.


The DISCERN questionnaire is a valid and reliable way of assessing the quality of written information on treatment choices for a health problem. 

Patient Reported Outcome Measures  

The unit has a long history of developing Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs). For more information or to request a licence to use a PROM, please visit Oxford University Innovation (OUI) Ltd.  

Research Support Service

The National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) Research Support Service (RSS) provides free and confidential advice to researchers in England to help develop funding applications, including clinical, applied health and social care research. The RSS also provides post-award advice to award holders. 

ongoing research

Cochrane Person Centred Health Systems and Public Health

A key focus of this group is evidence syntheses to guide effective, equitable and accessible health care. 

Hospital at Home

A multi-site trial assessing how providing acute care at home compares with admission to hospital in terms of patients' health, carers' experience and service costs.  

Translational Data Science

A programme of applied data science developments needed for high-quality, large-scale research that will lead to improvements in healthcare.

UK Colorectal Cancer Intelligence Hub

A highly collaborative programme of research aimed at maximising the use of health data to generate intelligence that will drive improvements in the care and outcome of colorectal cancer.


Related research themes