The IRH, which is based near Newtown, Mid Wales, has identified three themes for research up until 2013: the ageing rural population, poverty and deprivation and community and sustainability.
Against these themes, the research will focus on access to services, chronic disease and long-term conditions, health and the sustainable environment and rural medical, health and social care education.
Dr Jenny Deaville, the IRH's research manager, said: ‘Our aim is to ensure that rural health and well-being issues remain high on the policy and service delivery agendas.
‘In the last decade the IRH has conducted a wide range of research on rural health and wellbeing and been a lead partner or collaborator on more than 40 projects. More than £1m in research grants has been secured during this period.'
The IRH draws on skills and experience from disciplines including geography, medicine, nursing and social sciences when undertaking research.
The IRH launched its research strategy at a conference in Birmingham (Developing Agendas for Rural Health, Research, Police and Practice) today during Rural Health Week.