Public health systems research (PHSR) has been defined as a “field of study that examines the organization, financing, and delivery of public health services within communities, and the impact of these services on public health.” More recently, the definition has expanded to include a broader scope of inquiry, “public health services and systems research” (PHSSR).

In light of interest in understanding this important area of research, AcademyHealth staff conducted an analysis of the HSRProj database to review support for PHSSR. The authors developed a process for identifying PHSSR in the database and determining key funders and funding trends for the field. The analysis was based on published definitions of PHSSR, as well as a set of search terms used by the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. 

This brief highlights the utility of HSRProj in identifying PHSSR and discusses a subset of 91 projects, the majority of which are being conducted at academic institutions. Overall, the results demonstrate a general increase in support for PHSSR over time. 

Appendix B provides further information on projects analyzed in this brief, including project titles, abstracts, initial and final project years, and principal investigators.