Who we are

LiLaC is the Liverpool and Lancaster Universities Collaboration for Public Health Research. It was established in 2011 building on more than a decade of collaboration between health researchers at two research intensive universities in the North West of England. We are a member of the NIHR School for Public Health Research and contribute to the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration for the North West Coast and the NIHR Research Design Service North West (RDS NW).

Our goal is to work with public, community, policy and professional partners to better understand ‘what works’ to improve health and wellbeing and reduce the health inequalities experienced by disadvantaged children and adults. Our research findings are influencing policies and other actions to reduce inequalities in health locally, nationally and globally. We are also involved in a range of activities aimed at building capacity for the conduct and uptake of research to inform policy and other action on the structural determinants of health inequalities.

Our Approach

Firstly, the right of the public to be involved in research and decisions that affect their lives, is central. Extending our existing public involvement activities, we create opportunities for the public, including children, to work as partners with researchers and organisations to identify priorities, design and deliver research and co-produce evidence-based policies and other action. Research has shown that if organisations such as councils commit to promoting these rights, solutions are more appropriate, accessible and effective.

Secondly, LiLaC is uniquely multi-disciplinary, drawing members from across both universities, encompassing: clinical, social, spatial and environmental epidemiologists; economists in public health, health care, labour, education and finance; and experts in statistics, health informatics, computational science and implementation science. We also include geographers, sociologists, anthropologists, social psychologists, policy analysts, political scientists, linguists, lawyers, historians and planners and designers.

Thirdly, we have developed unique resources that provide an in-depth understanding of the changing conditions in places that influence health. These include a long-term programme of supporting and training residents in specific communities as partners in our research, digital online resources that enable members of the public to record their experiences and linked datasets that enable the health impact of social, environmental and economic initiatives to be evaluated.

Fourthly, our research has shown that addressing the complex problem of health inequalities, requires multiple perspectives. LiLaC brings together researchers who have developed ways of jointly applying their wide-ranging expertise, alongside the expertise of the public and professionals. We work with these diverse partners to identify practical solutions to challenging problems in order to improve the health of populations and reduce health inequalities.