About AskFuse

In June 2013 Fuse launched AskFuse: a rapid response and evaluation service for our policy and practice partners that aims to work in collaboration with external stakeholders to find research solutions for addressing pressing local issues.

We work with a range of clients in public health teams across the North East of England: local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Commissioning Support Units, primary care, Foundation Trusts, local and voluntary and community organisations, and Public Health England.

AskFuse aims to respond to a broad range of research requests from the health, well-being or social care sectors. Examples of how the service might help include; supporting you to examine how the existing evidence base applies locally, how you might make best use of current data, or undertaking service evaluation (more detailed case studies of typical enquiries).

AskFuse draws on the expertise of the Fuse colleagues most applicable to the issue, and provides outputs that are useful, timely, independent, high quality and in plain English. We work collaboratively with partners throughout the process of addressing a specific issue, in a way that best meets the client’s needs.

Our vision

Our vision is to increase the flow of evidence into public health practice by developing and working in long-term partnerships with policy and practice staff. This aim contributes directly to one of Fuse’s core elements in its vision: translation of world-class public health research into value-for-money policy and practice.

Impact objectives

To achieve our vision, AskFuse aims to:

  • Create an easy-to-access portal for public health evidence in the North East of England;
  • Improve the reputation and perception of Fuse as a centre of excellence in translational public health research;
  • Build regional partnerships to increase the flow of evidence into practice;
  • Develop capacity among policy makers, public health professionals and academics:
    • For policy makers and public health professionals to increase their understanding of research and skills to use evidence in their decision making and intervention development
    • For academics to increase their understanding of how evidence is used in practice and develop their skills for working collaboratively with policy and practice partners;
  • Develop (larger) collaborative research proposals between Fuse academics and policy makers/ public health professionals;
  • Contribute to a regional research agenda for public health;
  • Extract translational case studies.

 AskFuse Research Manager

The post of AskFuse Research Manager was created, to provide a single point of contact for all AskFuse enquiries and to coordinate this service for each client from start to finish.  In an initial conversation the partner’s needs are explored; the nature, and timescale of any further work can be agreed over a few meetings (with no obligation or fee). The costs of any work agreed, and outputs, will be discussed at this stage (more information on the AskFuse brokerage process).

The Research Manager liaises with Fuse senior investigators and staff at the five universities in the North East of England in order to identify capacity and skills to develop, commission, lead and undertake research projects. The Research Manager also actively promotes the service through a wide range of collaboration and partnership building activities in association with the Fuse Knowledge Exchange Broker, the Communication Officer and other Fuse staff interested in knowledge exchange.

Peter van der Graaf was recruited to this post and you can learn more about his background here.‌