Professor Brian Ferguson has been appointed as the new NIHR Public Health Research (PHR) Programme Director.

Professor Ferguson, Chief Economist at Public Health England, officially begins the role on 1 July 2020. He succeeds Professor Martin White who will be stepping down after heading the programme since 2014.

The PHR Programme funds research to generate evidence to inform the delivery of non-NHS interventions intended to improve the health of the public and reduce inequalities in health. Its research serves a variety of key stakeholders; including decision makers in local government, primary care organisations, other local public services and third sector organisations.

Professor Ferguson had initially planned to take early retirement from Public Health England at the end of May, but due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, he has delayed this for the foreseeable future. He will continue his role there full-time until the end of June 2020 and move to a part-time basis from 1 July 2020 when he takes up his new two-day a week NIHR role – employed as a Professor within the Department of Health Sciences, University of York.