What Works Wellbeing operated from 2014 to 2024. This website is a static repository of all assets captured at closure on 30 April. It will remain publicly accessible but will not be updated.  Read more
February 2024

Areas of Research Interest

Where next? Setting the direction of wellbeing research, and connecting evidence with policy and practice, as part of our legacy

Areas of Research Interest

To improve wellbeing at an individual, community and national level, we need to know ‘What Works’.

We are collating Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) to summarise the most important research questions for wellbeing over the coming years, and highlighting Practice in Need of Evidence (PINE).

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is based on the principle that good decision-making should be informed by the best available evidence.  If good evidence is not available, decision-makers should use high quality methods to build a reliable evidence base to inform future decisions.  

What Works Centres have an important role to play in shaping policy priorities and proactively identifying areas that need more attention or resources (WW Network strategy, p. 15).

With the What Works Centre for Wellbeing closing at the end of April 2024, there will no longer be an independent national organisation tasked with shaping wellbeing policy priorities or identifying areas that need more attention or resources, for example where policies are not working as effectively as they could.  

What are we doing?

Our vision is a future where the wellbeing of people and communities in the UK improves year-on-year and wellbeing inequalities are reduced.

We are sharing our recommendations and challenging the sector to ensure this mission continues. 

We know that practice is happening all over the country with the aim of driving improvements in individual and community wellbeing,  but, in many instances, without a robust evidence-base.

We want to identify these promising approaches, so that practitioners can be funded to evaluate their interventions to a high standard, and successful activity scaled, trialled and spread. 


We aim to inform those who fund and provide research about some of the most important questions and challenges facing wellbeing. 

We also hope to stimulate dialogue about opportunities for collaboration and alignment of research priorities to maximise wellbeing impact across sectors and disciplines.


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In this project

Report - April 2024
Wellbeing Areas of Research Interest
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Blog - Nov 2023
"More research is needed..." The role of ARIs
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Report - April 2024
Areas of Research Interest: Workplace wellbeing
Read more

Related content

UK Government Guidance
Writing and using Areas of Research Interest
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Blog - Oct 2022
DLUHC calls for wellbeing research to support key policies
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Strategy report - Oct 2023
Our Strategy
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