There is a growing recognition and acceptance that health and social care should follow the science, be driven by the data and be evidence based. This is important for the decisions and choices of policy makers, practitioners and the public and requires high quality, relevant research. Achieving this will require improvements in the conduct of the science that will generate the data to provide the evidence. Research needs to become integral to routine practice and be efficient and effective if it is to recover, become resilient and grow. This will require actions to allow research to be delivered amidst the pressures that the health and social care system is under even at the best of times, and to be able to respond at times of crisis, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.