Innovative new collaboration with Public Health England

  • Date

    Mon 30 Apr 18

A new agreement has been signed between Public Health England and our University to explore innovative ways of working together including research, apprenticeships, student exchange and scholarships.

Public Health England Deputy Chief Executive Richard Gleave and University Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday 26 April at our Colchester Campus. Harlow MP Robert Halfon and Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, were present.

The agreement comes shortly after Public Health England was given planning permission by Harlow Council to create a world-leading public health science campus and headquarters at Harlow, in Essex. PHE Harlow, as the site will be known, is expected to employ up to 2,750 people by 2024, with scope for further expansion.

This landmark decision helps secure Public Health England’s role as a global leader in applying cutting-edge science to protect and improve the public’s health for the next generation, through the creation of a state-of-the-art centre of national and international scientific expertise.

The Memorandum of Understanding is designed to be a working agreement and paves the way for the development of an apprentice programme on the Harlow site involving the two organisations.

In addition it will allow Public Health England and Essex to develop new ways of working together which could include:

  • collaborating on research in areas such as health data, bioinformatics and green health and seeking research funding together
  • bidding competitively for grants and other funding from national and international funding bodies in order to undertake world-leading research to help Public Health England continue to tackle national and international health challenges
  • developing the exchange of students and/or members of academic staff and providing work experience opportunities for University students, such as placement years, at Public Health England
  • establishing academic links that could include either honorary lectureships and professorships for Public Health England staff and funded positions at Public Health England for medical clinicians currently working at Essex

Richard Gleave said: “This is a significant milestone which will allow Public Health England and the University of Essex to explore ways of working together for mutual benefit.

“Our first staff will not be moving to Harlow for another three years but planning for this is already well under way. Exploring partnerships such as this is therefore a vital part of planning for our future workforce and ensuring we are able to deliver even more of our world-leading science and research.   

“We want to collaborate with the very best commercial, public sector and academic partners. We are also exploring possible collaborations with many other local and national providers.

“We will be providing exciting opportunities not just for our existing staff but for those joining us in the future, including people living in Harlow and the surrounding communities.”

Professor Graham Underwood, Executive Dean of our Faculty of Science and Health, said: “This new partnership between the University and Public Health England will enable both organisations to combine their considerable expertise in health-related research and training to address the important challenges arising from modern living and an ageing society.

“The recognised strengths of the University in science, social sciences and big data, will enable new approaches and new solutions to be developed. It is excellent that the University of Essex can partner with Public Health England in its move to Harlow in Essex.”