The Science of Using Science: Researching the Use of Research Evidence in Decision-Making

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing partnered with the Wellcome Trust, the Alliance for Useful Evidence and the EPPI-Centre at UCL to understand how research evidence can best be used in decision-making.



This report looks at better development and use of a sound evidence base in government policy and other decision making. This project is intended to develop the evidence base for how we can do the evidence part of good policy effectively.

The study identified six types of activity used to support evidence informed decision making and looked at the evidence based that underpins them.  The study team then looked at what other social science research suggests could be promising for supporting evidence informed decision making.

This project included:

  • Two reviews by the EPPI-Centre
  • a systematic review (a review of reviews) of this new field of research use
  • a scoping review of what the wider social science literature tells us about the mechanisms for the use of research evidence in decision-making
  • a summary policy report with the key findings with discussion and case studies by the Alliance for Useful Evidence
  • a conference to explore what approaches work in enabling the use of research by policy makers, practitioners and members of the public in April 2016

Additional Info

Additional information

Resource type

Full report


External resource