Alcohol Research UK publishes new report charting 30 years of impact in alcohol research

As part of its Annual Conference 2016 ‘Critical Measures: Next steps in alcohol research and policy’, Alcohol Research UK has today (16 March) unveiled a new report which looks back at its 30 year history. The report ‘Researching alcohol harm: 30 years of impact’ is based on an impact study undertaken by Professor Richard Velleman and his team which assesses all grant awards funded by Alcohol Research UK and its predecessor body, the Alcohol Education and Research Council, between 1982 and 2014.

The report shows the many different ways in which Alcohol Research UK’s programmes of work have helped to change policy and practice to reduce alcohol harm. Over the last three decades, the organisation has spent £24 million across a diverse range of projects involving some 1,000 researchers to build and improve knowledge, foster new talent, strengthen policy interventions, and support social and health care practitioners in developing effective treatments and interventions that significantly improve the way we identify, manage and treat those affected by, or who are at risk of, alcohol harms in the UK.

Commenting on the report, Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, Chair of Trustees of Alcohol Research UK, said: “This report shows that through dedicated research funding we can make a real difference in shaping the field of alcohol harm reduction.

“During our 30 year history, we have brought together almost 1,000 of the most committed and innovative researchers from across the UK to develop new research and initiatives that play a crucial part in expanding knowledge and insight in the alcohol field. We’re proud of what’s been achieved so far but there’s still much to do and we look forward to studying the findings from this report and stepping up our focus and investment to ensure our work continues to have real impact with real benefits for those at risk of harm.”

Dave Roberts, Chief Executive of Alcohol Research UK, said: “Every year, we support many talented researchers embark on important new research which goes on to expand the evidence-base around alcohol harm. This reports highlights some of the nearly 900 projects that we have funded and shows the impact they have had in changing policy and practice to reduce alcohol harms.

“However, we know that if we want to continue to have the kind of impact on people’s lives that we envisage, then we are going to have to invest in even more research and step up our level of influence. This impact study is designed to help us do just that and we look forward to implementing many of the measures it recommends to help us achieve even more in improving the health and well-being of affected individuals, families and communities.”

Alcohol Research UK’s Board of Trustees will consider the recommendations set out in Richard Velleman’s impact study at its next meeting in April 2016 with a view to implementing many of the recommendations throughout 2016.

Note to Editors

Alcohol Research UK works to reduce levels of alcohol-related harm by ensuring that policy and practice can always be developed on the basis of research-based evidence.

We are a lead funder of high quality research into the causes, impact and prevention of alcohol-related harm and are the only organisation exclusively dedicated to building an evidence base in this area. For more information visit:


Julie Symes

Alcohol Research UK