Translating science into policy

How we are working with research teams to help them reach out to policymakers.

Diabetes – a major health challenge

Diabetes is a chronic disease that impacts millions of lives across the globe. It is one of the major health challenges of the century and investment in research is critical to developing new disease prevention policies. We are supporting eminent academic groups across Europe and Australia to generate impact, by effectively translating their research outcomes into public health policy.

How we are supporting diabetes research

Beta is a partner in some inspiring research collaborations, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.


DynaHEALTH research (completed in 2019) focused on healthy ageing and how to reduce the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. One of the key findings from the research was the importance of intervention at pre-school age and the potential to reduce disease risks in later life. This age group is often overlooked by healthcare systems and is a critical stage in a child’s development. As the project partner leading on dissemination, we worked with the researchers to develop a publication aimed specifically at policymakers to communicate DynaHEALTH results, you can access the policy recommendations here. We also developed a ‘publications map’, to help policymakers navigate published research by age and disease.

One of our current health projects is Bump2Baby and Me. It will trial a health coaching app for pregnant women at risk of developing gestational diabetes. This condition causes complications in pregnancy and can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes in later life, for both mum and baby. The importance of this innovative project has grown following the Covid-19 pandemic. It demonstrates an example of how healthcare can be delivered when face-to-face contact is not possible.

Another collaboration, LongITools, is investigating how our living environment influences our long-term health, including the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes. The ‘exposome’ research is studying the interaction of environmental exposures with our genetics and biology, and the associated disease risks. The project concept is complex and we produced a website and video during the first year of the project, to help explain the research project to stakeholders, including policymakers.

Finding common ground with policymakers

For all these projects, it’s essential for the emerging research to translate into a format that policymakers at different levels of government can use. For this to be successful, we must engage with them at the earliest possible stage, and continue the dialogue throughout the project. To facilitate this we are creating new opportunities to exchange knowledge, including project forums and workshops. These, and other initiatives, will connect policy experts with our research teams to help ensure the science is guided by their needs and that the findings can be translated into evidence-based policy recommendations.


Our team is providing expert support to researchers in disseminating their results, providing the tools they need to enable them to reach out to policymakers. This helps them to keep their focus on the science and demonstrates the impact of the project to the funding bodies involved. We are proud to be involved in these projects, improving our understanding of diabetes and providing options for policymakers to help tackle chronic disease and enabling us all to live healthier lives.

Talk to us about how we can help your research project generate impact at a policy level.