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About Us

The NPEU is a multi-disciplinary research unit which was established at the University of Oxford in 1978.

Our mission is to conduct methodologically rigorous research to provide evidence to improve the care provided to women, babies and families during pregnancy, childbirth, the newborn period and early childhood as well as promoting the effective use of resources by perinatal health services

Our work involves running randomised controlled trials, national surveillance programmes and surveys, confidential enquiries, aetiological studies and a disease register. The results of our research sit at the nexus of public and population health sciences, clinical care and health policy development.

We actively seek the involvement of clinical and research collaborators to ensure the research we conduct answers questions of importance to the professionals delivering care in the clinical setting and the health services more broadly. We involve women, patients, families, and voluntary and user organisations in the planning and execution of projects to ensure our research also provides answers to questions which are important to health service users and their families.

We use the term 'women' throughout our website and our publications to refer to those who are planning to become pregnant, are pregnant, and give birth. We acknowledge that not all people who are pregnant and give birth identify as women, and it is important that evidence-based care for maternity, perinatal and postnatal health is inclusive.

Athena SWAN Silver Award

The Athena SWAN Charter for Women in Science recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM).

Athena SWAN awards celebrate good practice in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in higher education institutions, and their individual departments. The University of Oxford has a Bronze University award. In September 2013, the NPEU received a Silver Departmental Award.

Read more about Athena SWAN

"Making a difference to women, babies and families is at the heart of everything we do. As Director, I am delighted to see the global influence of the work of NPEU researchers and their collaborators worldwide."

— Marian Knight