The ‘Areas of Research Interests’(ARIs) are documents setting out the key research questions for government departments. They include information on departmental research systems, research and data publication policies and research and development strategies.

Cabinet Office Areas of Research Interest 2019

a) Public services

Context: The most difficult challenges faced by our public services are complex and cross-cutting. Increasing efficiency alone will not be enough to tackle these challenges, nor for public services to keep pace with the continuing pressures they face to do more with less.

To that end, areas of research interest focus on better understanding the challenges and opportunities in the delivery of public services in the future, including the demand for the public services, making more effective use of data, reducing ethnic disparities and being more diverse and inclusive, and the level of productivity in the public sector.

b) Civil Service

Context: Our ambition is to be A Brilliant Civil Service that helps to keep the United Kingdom prosperous and secure, supporting the government we serve in implementing their commitments and delivering high quality services for the public. The Cabinet Secretary has prioritised improving “the capability of the Civil Service itself and the wider public service”1, noting the importance of “our diversity and inclusion agenda, building our capabilities in digital and commercial, and ensuring that our systems join up.”2 A particular focus of this priority is “trying to ensure that the horizontal mechanisms we have across a government that is inevitably organised vertically are as strong and effective as possible.”3

To that end, areas of research interest focus on understanding how we can strengthen and transform the Civil Service as an organisation so that it can tackle current and future challenges and opportunities such as diversity and inclusion, staff engagement, rewarding and retaining talents, and career paths, more effectively.

c) Digital innovation

Context: Aim is to support government and other public sector organisations in finding and exploiting emerging technologies and other innovative solutions to operational service and policy delivery challenges.

d) Electoral registration and electoral systems

Context: Aim is to deliver electoral registration and electoral systems that are efficient, inclusive, and that work for all.

e) UK governance and devolution

Context: The process of EU Exit presents important challenges for UK governance. We work to ensure that we have the right governance in place to support the UK government and devolved administrations.

f) Measuring and responding to security threats faced by the UK

Context: The world is changing rapidly and we continue to see long-term shifts in the balance of global and military power, increasing competition between states as well as the threat from non-state actors. The challenges have become more complex and intertwined. We are inviting research organisations to consider our latest research interests in measuring and responding to security threats in a way that is evidence-led.

g) Adapting to a changing security environment

Context: The challenges have become more complex, intertwined and dangerous as the world has become more uncertain and volatile. Domestic, overseas and online threats are increasingly integrated as adversaries develop capabilities and exploit vulnerabilities across borders and between the cyber and physical worlds. We are seeking research to help Government adapt to a changing security environment based on research and evidence

h) The role of multilateral institutions in maintaining the security of the UK

Context: Domestic, overseas and online threats are increasingly integrated as adversaries develop capabilities and exploit vulnerabilities across borders and between the cyber and physical worlds. Challenges driving security priorities include the erosion of the rules-based international order, making it harder to build consensus and tackle global threats. We are seeking actionable research to inform our future choices and policy direction in the role of mult-lateral institutions in maintaining the security of the UK.

i) Knowledge and information management

Context: Good Knowledge and Information Management is essential for good government. The challenges of the digital era are complex and diverse: mimicking a paper-based model is doomed to failure. We need to develop radically new tools and techniques to support enhanced sense-making for information exploitation in the near-term and better long-term preservation and management of historically important material for the long-term.

j) Delivery of major government projects

Context: Purpose is to continuously improve the way infrastructure and major projects are delivered, in order to support government priorities and improve people’s lives. We aspire to create the best performing project system of any country in the world. We measure how well the system is performing, so we can learn important lessons and continuously improve project performance over time.

To access more ARI please see previous posts:

If you wish to provide feedback or respond to ARI please use the contact details provided in ARI document.

To review open calls for evidence from Parliament please visit:

To support the development of POSTnotes please visit:

For more information on engaging with Parliament visit: ‘Research impact at the UK Parliament’

If you would like any support looking for calls, preparing research proposals, please contact [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *