IPCRG Research strategy depicting its five domains, four audiences and three areas for strengthening

The IPCRG contributes to the primary care and respiratory research landscape in five ways.

We conduct research directly through surveys and analysis of routine data.  We facilitate our country members to engage with academic institutions, including collaborations with global partners on global health research such as FRESHAIR4Life, RESPIRE , RECHARGE and Breathe Well. IPCRG  guides and influence what research is done by listening to and presenting the primary care voice including the latest research prioritisation e-Delphi.  We disseminate research evidence for public benefit through our extensive networks, our journal the npjPrimary Care Respiratory Medicine published by Springer Nature, in person and on social media, conferences and education programmes. 

We complement academic institutions by:

  • Strengthening the links with clinical practice globally
  • Building confidence and competence in the primary care workforce to engage in research through our research schools, and role modelling
  • Facilitating IPCRG members’ engagement in research collaborations
  • Contributing leadership on stakeholder engagement and communications strategies and advocacy for primary care respiratory research
  • Dissemination to grassroots primary care


Clinically important areas for research in latest prioritisation exercise 2021

Our revised research priorities were published in the npjPCRM January 2022, based on an extensive e-Delphi exercise. This was conducted among 112 community-based physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals representing 27 high, middle and low-income countries. We have been able to identify focus areas and a top ten research questions from the 608 questions proposed, informing both our own and the sector’s approach to research. 

At WHO-GARD and the European Parliament, we continue to make the case for the primary care perspective. We argue for research funding to address inequitable access to care; local contexts including the environment, power, respect and access to medicines; multimorbidity; implementation of right care that provides value to the population and the individual, and is affordable.


Our research leadership team guides the priorities, implementation and review of our research strategy.  It also leads on the review of abstracts for our scientific meetings.

IPCRG is increasing our commitment to leadership development by mentoring and coaching early career researchers (ECRs) and clinicians passionate about change for improvement.  The programme of our world conference in Athens has a leadershipi track running through it, that delegates may select. This will be complemented by additional support.

Our case studies describe how ECRs have benefited from our support.


We have established a mechanism for hearing from grassroots primary care through our Sentinel Network of over 120 primary care clinicians.  Our IQ&A service sources questions from the Sentinel Network and provides evidence-based, quickly absorbed advice for primary care physicians with a clear “so what” message.  Its strength is its focus on the areas that primary care manages, which often have uncertain evidence bases.

We also generate interest in research we run regular research schools. The last two have focused on qualitative research.   We have offered small grants to address our research prioritisation, and have written up a series of case reports on early career researchers who have benefited from our support to develop their careers.


We offer platforms for peer review and dissemination.   Our peer-reviewed open access journal, npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, is published by Springer Nature, and co-owned by the publisher and our UK group, PCRS-UK.  Our scientific meetings and our world conferences offer opportunities to present research and research ideas for peer review.  They also help connect researchers with research funders and collaborating partners.

We believe that knowledge transfer depends on bridging different networks. We therefore offer an important bridge into primary care networks to:

  • Identify research needs
  • Support research prioritisation
  • Advise on implementation
  • Recruit to trials
  • Assist in the analysis of results
  • Disseminate results
  • Contribute to the transfer and uptake of new knowledge to improve respiratory health.


We co-ordinate the Global Health Respiratory Network of UK -funded global health respiratory research projects, including over 40 global partners. We lead two work packages of a new EU- Horizon and UKRI-funded programme FRESHAIR4LIfe, preventing adolescent exposure to air pollution and tobacco, meanwhile continuing to publish papers from the EU Horizon 2020 funded FRESH AIR project, which we successfully bid for, and where we led the stakeholder engagement and knowledge transfer work package. We led the stakeholder engagement and knowledge transfer programme of NIHR Breathe Well and have created a new Teach the Teacher programme to strengthen the uptake of findings from NIHR RECHARGE.  We co-lead the stakeholder engagement programme of NIHR RESPIRE (see our stakeholder engagement guide) We led the UNLOCK project enabling primary care researchers to coordinate and share datasets of relevant diagnostic and follow-up variables for COPD and asthma management in primary care.