Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing

Our research

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Our unique perspective

The Institute of Public Health and Wellbeing is anchored by our strong foundations in and commitment to social justice. We’re also committed to influencing and guiding public health and social policy, with more than five decades of experience in delivering world-class research and knowledge exchange.

Research strengths

Tackling inequality

We understand the far-reaching impact of inequality and seek to find the right solutions. Researchers across the social sciences, arts and humanities, and science and health at Essex are revealing the influence of inequality in society and how it impacts health and wellbeing.

Cutting edge methods

Our strength in data science, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and artificial intelligence techniques can make a significant impact on improving health and wellbeing by analysing issues and delivering insights to guide decisions.

Research focus

Four research themes provide the focus for our research:

  • Social, biological and environmental determinants of health
  • Interventions, outcomes, evaluations and policy
  • Wellbeing and health promotion
  • Human rights, community participation and voice

We have two workstreams which provide a strategic focus for our research, knowledge exchange and impact, showing the breadth and depth of our work:

Health and wellbeing across the lifespan and life course

This workstream focuses on how physical and mental health and wellbeing evolve throughout the various stages of life, focusing on the factors that influence the ultimate health and wellbeing outcomes of individuals. Understanding the role of modifiable factors and the impact of the broader determinants of health is of paramount importance to reduce health inequalities and to increase life expectancy free from ill-health. Further, this will serve as a resource for regional, national, and international decision-makers and policy developers. This will serve as a catalyst for integrating ongoing research efforts within our University's diverse community of researchers to advance the knowledge of health and wellbeing across different life stages, fostering connections and facilitate the continuous advancement of our collective understanding of health and wellbeing, from birth to death.

Health and wellbeing from cells to society

This workstream focuses on leveraging University expertise for articulating the spectrum of micro-level to macro-level influences shaping health and wellbeing, as well as to advance our understanding of the ways in which diverse research disciplines can collaborate to inform effective strategies for improving both individual and population-level health and wellbeing. This will serve as a catalyst for connecting our community of researchers, spanning a wide spectrum of fields, ranging from life sciences to human rights and policy studies. By doing so, we aim to create a dynamic platform for integrating translational and implementation research, effectively connecting the two ends of the spectrum.

Our research topics

Our Centres

Research groups and clusters from across the University

Researchers across all three faculties have formed research groups and clusters to focus in on tackling key health and wellbeing challenges.

Our research groups include:

Research case studies

Revolutionising prostate cancer treatment

How we started the green exercise revolution

Improving the lives of refugees

Protecting rights in mental health and social care

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