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Successful launch of Oxford's Centre for Research Equity: A milestone in inclusive health research, the Centre's mission to tackle health disparities was highlighted with a keynote by Dame Jane Dacre.

A Photograph of Dame Jane Dacre delivering her talk at the launch of the CfRE.

The University of Oxford’s Centre for Research Equity (CfRE) has successfully launched, marking a significant step in the pursuit of health equity and inclusivity in research.

The launch event, held at the Said Business School in Oxford on the 17 May, brought together representatives from a diverse range of organisations across the health and research sector, demonstrating a shared commitment to the Centre's mission.

The event began with a welcome address by Prof Richard Hobbs and Dr Paula Wray of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley. Their remarks highlighted the importance of ensuring that health research is truly representative, and the findings can be applicable to all communities, regardless of their background.

The keynote speaker of the event was Dame Jane Dacre, Chair of the Health Select Committee Expert Panel DHSC. Dame Dacre, a respected figure in medical education and health policy, shared insightful remarks on the need for equity in health, education, and research. As a former President of the Royal College of Physicians, and currently a Professor of Medical Education at UCL, Dame Dacre has been a driving force in pushing for the necessity of health equity in research and practice​​.

Prof Mahendra Patel, Director of the Centre, introduced the CfRE, outlining its mission to ensure that research is by, with, and for all communities. The Centre's plan is to engage with a broad network of collaborators, including health professionals, researchers, policy makers, and community members, to drive the health equity agenda forward.

The event also featured talks by Mr Alan Higgins from the Health Equity Network, Institute of Health Equity, University College London, and Marc Donovan OBE, Director of Healthcare Development and Public Affairs at Boots UK, who shared some of the work Boots has been doing to support research through community pharmacy.

In a series of panel discussions, representatives from a broad array of organisations including the Royal College of General Practitioners, Muslim Doctors Cymru, NHS Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Northern Ireland, and many others, shared their experiences and insights on a range of topics, such as government support for research, the role of NHS engagement with diverse communities, and the potential of creative methodologies for engaging marginalised populations in mental health research.

The launch was marked by the participation of many organisations, including Sheffield AUPMC, Boots UK, British Islamic Medical Association, South Asian Health Action, and the UK Health Alliance, reflecting a shared commitment to research equity and inclusivity.

The event concluded with a closing statement from Prof Chris Butler of the University of Oxford, expressing gratitude for the active participation of all attendees and emphasising the need for continued collaboration and engagement in the pursuit of health equity.

The successful launch of the Centre for Research Equity signals a significant step towards championing health equity and inclusivity in research. The anticipation and eagerness of a diverse range of stakeholders highlight the impactful work that lies ahead for the Centre.