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Areas of Research Interest (ARIs)

What are ARIs and how can researchers contribute to them?


In response to the 2015 Nurse Review of the UK Research Councils, the Government launched ‘Areas of Research Interest’ (ARIs) to provide a more strategic approach to departmental research and development and to engender a more sophisticated dialogue with academics.

ARIs offer insight into specific policy areas where Government Departments are keen to hear research evidence or insights. They can help you target relevant policy audiences and also provide routes for policy engagement.

Understanding current ARIs will help you to learn more about Government Department interests and provide you with opportunities to position your research in response. ARIs are often longer-term horizon-scanning interests, rather than immediate policy challenges.

Some ARIs are aligned with research funding calls, and can be accessed via the searchable ARI database.


  • Search the ARI database to identify relevant areas which align with your research and expertise.
  • Use ARIs to inform your policy stakeholder mapping: what are the priorities, where is the alignment and who are the individuals working in that area within Departments?
  • When writing about your research or presenting it to external audiences, where relevant, use ARIs as context to give your research relevance and salience.
  • Use ARIs as an opportunity to scope, design and host policy roundtables or events involving civil servants which are geared towards addressing current priorities.

Further information

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