Introducing the new UK hub for Systems science In Public health and Health Economic Research

In late 2019 SIPHER published its first article in Wellcome Open Research. The article shares our vision to shift from health policy to healthy public policy, where the wellbeing impacts of policies are a core consideration across government sectors. It sets out how we will work with Policy Partners to answer three research questions:

  1. How can we capitalise on recent advances in complex systems science and multi-criteria optimisation to maximise the health-generating potential of public policy?
  2. How can we design complex systems research processes, models and decision tools to be most useful to academic and policy audiences?
  3. Which pathways and strategies best translate complex systems science evidence into policy?


Our SIPHER team of researchers and policy makers is fully operational. Across 6 universities and 3 Policy Partners we are a team of 54 people!

This includes our Directorate (Professor Petra Meier, Professor Robin Purshouse and Dr Lucy Gavens), 8 workstrand teams who focus on different methodological aspects of SIPHER’s work, policy topic experts who work across the whole SIPHER Consortium, and PhD students and Specialty Registrars on placement with us.

The SIPHER team

To find out more about who is involved and their role in SIPHER see our team webpage:

Inclusive Economies Topic Advisory Group and Scientific Advisory Board Established

SIPHER’s research over the coming years will be guided by specialist advisory groups.

Scientific Advisory Board
Our international Scientific Advisory Board, Chaired by Professor Arpana Verma from the University of Manchester, will provide independent scientific advice on SIPHER’s novel interdisciplinary methods. The membership of the Board is available here and the inaugural meeting will take place in Autumn 2020.

The University of Sheffield

Inclusive Economies Topic Advisory Group
Chaired by Lord Bob Kerslake, our Inclusive Economies Topic Advisory Group will provide independent expert advice on SIPHER’s developing evidence on Inclusive Economies. The Membership of the Group will be announced soon and the inaugural meeting will take place in the Autumn.

Systems Mapping Workshops

Systems mapping is an integral part of the SIPHER research process.

To develop systems maps we work together with a range of policy colleagues who each bring a different perspective and experience to the mapping process. Our first workshop, focused on an Inclusive Economy in Greater Manchester, was delivered virtually on 30th March 2020. Our mapping workshops with Sheffield City Council and the Scottish Government are on pause whilst policy colleagues focus their attention on the response to Covid-19, but we look forward to planning these together later in the year.

Through the workshops each Policy Partner develops a bespoke complex systems map for an Inclusive Economy in their local area. This vital early step in our SIPHER approach underpins the subsequent stages of our work – evidence synthesis, data gathering, complex systems modelling and, ultimately, our decision support tools.

Greater Manchester Workshop on Participatory Systems Mapping


In January 2020 we launched our SIPHER blog.

This is a series of articles written by different members of the SIPHER team and designed to share the SIPHER perspective on topics we are interested in. Recent posts include “Introducing the SIPHER Consortium” and “Moving Towards a Wellbeing Economy”.

Introducing the SIPHER Consortium

SIPHER goes virtual for our 1st Researcher Technical Meeting

On the 19th and 20th March 20 of our SIPHER researchers came together for a virtual meeting to learn more about each other’s research and how we will work together over the next 5 years.

Whilst it would have been great to get together in person, everyone engaged really positively with the virtual environment and we had a little bit of fun along the way. Topics of discussion included our SIPHER Demonstrator project, systems mapping workshops and how inclusive economies can improve health and reduce inequalities. We are looking forward to future meetings where we will continue to learn and develop complex systems models for healthy public policy together.

Researcher Technical Meeting March 2020