Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination

Government of Pakistan

Pakistan Health Research Council (PHRC)


The Pakistan Health Research Council (PHRC) was created under a resolution in 1962 on the recommendation of the Medical Reforms Commission as an autonomous organization under the Federal Ministry of Health (MoH), with the mandate to promote, organize and coordinate medical research in Pakistan. The Council was transferred to the administrative control of the newly created Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) in 1972 along with all other research and development organizations in Pakistan. In 1985 the Council was re-organized to play its role in medical research more effectively. In 1997 the Council was transferred back to the Ministry of Health.




Major functions of the Council are to:


Organize, coordinate and promote scientific research in various disciplines of health sciences and public health;

Establish its own institutions for undertaking health research;

Publish and otherwise disseminate technical and general information on scientific matters relating to the research work of the Council through holding seminars, meetings and conferences;

Establish scientific liaison with other national and international organizations connected with the scientific activities of the Council;

Advise the Federal Government and Provincial Governments on all matters related to health research;

Carry out, when called upon, evaluation of different health programme in the country.




The main objectives of the Council are to:

Organize, coordinate and promote scientific research in various disciplines of health sciences and public health.

Link health research to the socio-economic development plans of the country.

Advise the Federal and Provincial governments on all matters related to health research and health issues.




1. Autonomous Status:


The Resolution under which the Council was created clearly stated that the Council will function as an autonomous organization. The revised resolution of 1985 states that the Council is being made 'more autonomous' to enable it to function more efficiently. This clearly indicates that autonomy is accepted as an essential prerequisite for the efficient function of organizations like the PHRC. Such organizations need to have the freedom to evolve rules and regulations according to needs in a rapidly changing environment. Good scientists are scarce in Pakistan. In the health sector they are almost non-existent. To attract the few who are available attractive incentives have to be given along with a good work environment. This cannot be done within the strait-jacket of general government rules.


2. Linkages:


To achieve its functions of promotion, organization and coordination of research in the country, PHRC established linkages at different levels of its organization. Through the member-ship of its Board of Governors links are made with decision-makers, planners, funders of research and academicians. Leading health professional are included in the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Expert Panels to advise the BoG on technical matters, priority setting in research and development of research agenda. The research centres of the Council which are located in medical under-graduate and post graduate institutions link the Council with academicians all over the country and give the Council's researcher access to available resources for health research in the country.


The Council has in recent years established links with international health research organizations like the Commission on Health Research for Development (COHRED), Concerted Action, SHARED (a computer network for exchange of information on health) and the Global Health Forum. Successful collaboration in research has been undertaken with the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) and the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


3. Organization and Structure:


All powers of the Council are vested in the Board of Governors (BoG). These include both administrative and financial powers. The members of the BoG serve in their ex-officio capacity. Heads of most public sector organizations with direct or indirect connection to the Health Sector are represented on the PHRC BoG.


The BoG exercises its authority through an Executive Committee, a Chairman and an Executive Director. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and a number of Expert Panels, the members of which are selected from among the leading medical researchers and academicians of the country, provide technical guidance and advice to the Council.


The Head Office of the Council previously located in Karachi was transferred to Islamabad in 1989. The Executive Director is based in Islamabad. Beside its routine administrative functions the Head Office organizes research studies at the national level, coordinates the work of the many research centres of the Council, arranges training on medical research, disseminates the findings of Research and establishes links within country and abroad.


4. Research Centres:


To achieve its functions the main strategy adopted by the Council was the development of collaboration with health academic institutions by establishing Research Centres in both the undergraduate and postgraduate medical institutions of the country.


Through the strategy of establishment of research centres in Medical Academic Institutions the Council aims to pool all available resources for health research in the country. The academic institutions have qualified staff, equipped laboratories, other diagnostic facilities and libraries. They also have access to patients. The Council supplements these facilities with staff specially oriented to medical research, statistical facilities, transport and secretarial facilities through its research cantres. Where needed special research laboratories have been established. The PHRC staff assists and facilitates researchers by providing them technical help at all levels of their research. The Head of the institution is the administrative head of the research centre and a local advisory committee with senior and research oriented faculty members guide and supervise the work of the centres and formulate priorities for research at the local level. In some centres an Honorary Principal Research Officer functions as a liaison between the research centre and the institution’s faculty. Currently 13 PHRC Research Centres are functioning.


5. PHRC Central Library:


The Council has established a Central Library and Information Centre at the Head Office. Plans for its expansion and linkages nationally and internationally are being developed to make it an efficient and effective "Health Information Resource Centre" to meet the needs of the researchers.


6. Publications:


The Council disseminates the information generated through its research activities by the following means:


Pakistan Journal of Medical Research PJMR (Quarterly)

Annual reports

Proceedings of its Biennial Medical Research Congresses.

Monographs/ Technical Reports/ Survey Reports/Seminar Reports

Seminars/ Workshops/ Training Courses

Research Papers in National and International Journals

Besides, the following documents are published and updated regularly:

PHRC Profile

Guidelines for completion of application for research grant

Guidelines for reviewers of research proposals

Cumulative contents of the PJMR




Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, G-5/2

Islamabad, Pakistan

Tel: 00-92-51-9216793, 00-92-51-9207386

Fax: 00-92-51-9216774