Emeritus Prof Steve Hanney has a PhD from Brunel University. He has spent over 35 years researching a range of topics, including: how to assess the impact, payback or benefits from health research; the use of research in policymaking; and how best to organise health research systems to maximise impacts and improve health and health systems.
With Professor Martin Buxton he developed the HERG Payback Framework which they, and others, have applied to assess the impact of a range of health research programmes in the UK funded by the public sector and by medical research charities. Steve has collaborated on, or advised, studies applying the Payback Framework to health research in many countries, including: Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, and USA. This stream of research also involved collaborations that produced the series of Medical Research: What's it Worth studies showing the high rate of return on UK public and charitably-funded research in fields such as CVD, cancer & musculoskeletal disease.
Building on the assessment of research impact, Steve also focused on ways to strengthen health research systems. He led studies examining both the benefits of healthcare organisations being research active, and how to reduce time lags between early research and health gains, including during the pandemic. He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, including in the early 2000s helping to develop the WHO framework for analysing health research systems, in relation to preparation for the World Health Report, 2013 on the role of health research systems in improving health systems, and most recently on how to strengthen National Health Research Systems. From 2007-16 he co-edited the WHO-founded journal Health Research Policy and Systems.