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About the Centre for Health Economics

The Centre for Health Economics (CHE) is a stimulating research environment, and one of the world’s largest health economics research centres. Established at the University of York in 1983, it was one of the world’s first research institutes dedicated to the study of economics of health and health care, and rapidly established a leading international reputation. In a ranking of the top 100 institutions in health economics in the world, the University of York is ranked 7th and is the highest ranking European institution. CHE was recently named as one of the UK’s 100 Best Breakthroughs for our significant impact on people’s everyday lives by making healthcare systems fairer and more effective. We are a community of over 90 staff and students, including research staff, support staff, and PhD students.

Our mission is to be a globally recognised research centre, committed to the development and application of the discipline of economics in order to promote health and wellbeing through the effective, efficient and equitable use of scarce resources.

CHE produces policy relevant research and innovative methods that advance the use of health economics to improve population health. Health and social care resources and budgets are limited, and difficult policy decisions are made on a daily basis. Our work is designed to provide stakeholders with objective evidence and research to support their decision making, through examining the costs and the benefits of policies, and the implications for equity. We are world renowned, with a reputation for delivering high quality policy-relevant research which makes a real difference to health policy, for the benefit of society. 

Staff at a YESI conference, supporting Health Economics

Whilst the focus of our research evolves in response to changing research needs and policy priorities, we maintain high scientific standards and continue to place a premium on the rigour and quality of our work.

Research

Themes

  • Economic evaluation of health technologies
  • Health policy
  • Econometric methods
  • Equity in health and health care
  • Global health
  • Health and social care
  • Mental health
  • Public health

CHE operates across all areas of the discipline, with a particular emphasis on methodological thinking and high policy impact. Our research is organised into eight broad themes, with several cross-cutting research themes drawing on the expertise and insights of CHE researchers from a number of different teams. The defining characteristics of CHE’s research are:

Methods rigour: CHE’s research is distinguished by a major focus on the development and application of advanced methods and analytical techniques to address important and complex questions.

Policy focus: We aim to inform and influence health policy and practice, nationally and internationally.

Engagement: We work alongside decision-makers, practitioners and academic colleagues to prioritise, design and deliver timely research which is communicated effectively to relevant users in accessible formats, including a range of teaching and training activities.

Excellence: We have a long track record of producing high quality research, spanning 36 years, within a leading UK institution and in one of the world’s top 150 universities.

Our impact

CHE’s researchers play a leading role in many national and international societies and make high-profile presentations at scientific meetings across the world. CHE has a very strong policy impact both nationally and internationally. Within the UK, examples include work at the most senior level with policy formulation in the Department of Health and Social Care and its devolved equivalents, HM Treasury, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, the Office for National Statistics, Cabinet Office and Home Office. Internationally, its researchers have worked at a senior level with many national ministries and health care agencies, in countries in every continent, and with international organisations including the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Researchers publish frequently, including contributing to journals, books and commissioned reports. Staff in CHE publish in the leading international journals in their field, and the two leading health economics journals are edited from York.

The University of York offers scope for many fruitful collaborations and CHE has strong links, via joint interests, research projects and appointments, with several departments including the Department of Economics and Related Studies, the Department of Health Sciences, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, the Department of Politics, the Hull-York Medical School, the York Health Economics Consortium and the Social Policy Research Unit.

The world leading research undertaken by the Centre for Health Economics has been recognised by the University of York's ranking as equal 7th in the country for Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care in the national assessment of the quality and impact of research in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). CHE was part of the submission made jointly with the Department of Health Sciences, the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination and the Hull-York Medical School. The results published on 18 December 2014, showed that 83% of the research submitted was rated as world leading or internationally excellent. The impact of our research on society and citizens was also rated equal 7th, and we were ranked equal first for research environment, one that is conducive to producing research of world-leading quality, in terms of vitality and sustainability. The University of York as a whole performed well in the latest REF, being ranked 14th overall and 10th for the impact of its research.

In 2007, the University of York was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, in recognition of the contribution health economics research has made to the way society thinks about health and health care over the last 25 years.

Teaching and training

CHE attracts over 300 people a year from all over the world to be trained in the methods developed by our researchers. The York Summer Workshops in the socio-economic evaluation of medicines has been running for over 20 years and comprises three residential workshops aimed at decision-makers and academics. We run a further three courses focusing on applied research methods.

Studying in the Centre for Health Economics

There are a number of PhD students based at CHE, supervised by our staff and registered either in the Department of Economics and Related Studies or in the Department of Health Sciences. We run an active visitor programme, hosting around 20 visitors each year from all over the world. We offer the CHE Research Fellowship, and invite applications from researchers wishing to visit CHE in order to produce a collaborative piece of research, welcoming experienced career researchers and early career researchers.

Equality and Diversity

CHE is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community, one in which diversity is recognised, valued and celebrated. This is exemplified in CHE being awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. We demonstrate our activities in gender equality and our achievement record in working continually towards equality in career progression. We will continue to build on this success by further improving our processes and ensure fair, flexible, accessible and transparent working conditions for all members of staff.

We have an Equality and Diversity Action Team (EDAT) to oversee the Athena Swan application and delivery on our action plan. In addition they scrutinise policies, processes and data in the department, and consult with staff and students, ensuring we continue to strive to provide a supportive and family friendly work environment and to offer equal opportunities to all staff members. The department has developed maternity, paternity and adoption leave guidance to help provide support for staff.

The case studies on our Equality and Diversity website demonstrate the variety of working arrangements of staff which are supported by the department.

Community

CHE endeavours to provide a positive and supportive working environment, with an inclusive and friendly ethos, where staff feel a sense of belonging.

Staff are encouraged to attend training events and take up opportunities for professional development including those offered by the award-winning People and Organisational Development team. We actively promote the University of York coaching and mentoring schemes, where the individual is supported by the coach/ mentor to build their knowledge, skills and techniques, to be most effective in their role and help individuals achieve their full potential. We provide support for all staff in applications for promotion, role reviews, awards, and prizes. Staff can be nominated for awards to acknowledge and celebrate achievements, and enhance future career development, including the Making the Difference, Rewarding Excellence, and Professional@York awards. 

Collaboration and support between colleagues

We have two newsletters: one external, which is used to inform about recent developments at CHE; and one internal, which is used to celebrate achievements, share staff news and promote the work of EDAT. Staff are regularly encouraged to provide content.

The department has a monthly ‘CHE Day’ where staff and students all meet for updates and discussion, presentations on topics of interest, a lunch, and a seminar by an external speaker. CHE also regularly holds a variety of social events, which are open to all staff and students.

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