Insight & Innovation

Our 2021-2025 Strategic Plan sets out our objective to “Enhance our insight about the constantly evolving threats to clean sport in the UK and globally”.

UKAD has launched an Insight & Innovation team to co-ordinate our engagement with research and identify ways of enhancing our operations.

Contact the Team

Our Insight & Innovation team can be contacted via email at

Objective 2

Our Objectives

Co-ordinate the development of our Research and Innovation Agenda
Seek out opportunities to embed technology or approaches from other sectors to enhance our operations
Improve engagement with UK and International Research Institutions
Commission research studies, pilot projects and support research proposals submitted to funding bodies

Our Research & Innovation Agenda

  • We will research doping prevalence within sports in the UK

  • We seek new methods and technologies to gain insight on doping prevalence within sports


Drug Detection
Drug Detection
  • Implementation of novel sample collection methods

  • Improve UKAD's detection rates for prohibited substances and methods through enhanced analyses

Monitor and evaluation
Monitoring & Evaluation
  • We will use data obtained from monitoring and evaluation processes to improve UKAD's anti-doping education and operations

Data analytics
Data Analytics
  • We will research how we can use our existing data and external data to inform UKAD's policies

Research Priorities

UKAD's Insight & Innovation team have identified the following four areas as our research priorities. 

Read about them below.


Prevalence studies are difficult to undertake due to the inherent difficulties of obtaining accurate and reliable data.

We will seek innovative ways of assessing prevalence of doping in sports in the UK, by sport and by level of athlete.

This will enable us to benchmark our efforts in the pursuit of clean sport.

blood vial
Drug Detection

To enhance our drug detection for prohibited substances and methods we will carry out more research in the following areas:

Dried Blood Sampling

  • Detecting anabolic androgenic steroids from dried blood sampling 
  • Detecting steroid esters from dried blood sampling 
  • Expanding on the analysis menu in order to validate detection methods towards other prohibited substances and methods 

Blood Doping

  • Detecting autologous blood transfusion 
  • Developing indirect methods for detecting blood doping

Improving existing analytical methods

  • Growth hormone biomarkers
  • Growth hormone releasing factors 
  • Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents
Monitoring & Evaluation

To enhance our anti-doping education and operations at UKAD we seek to answer the following research questions:


  • How can we measure the effectiveness of our education interventions? 
  • How effective are our education programmes towards reducing unintentional and/or intentional doping? 
  • What are the most effective methods for educating athlete support personnel?  


  • How effective is our testing strategy at deterring athletes from doping?

Results Management

  • Can we measure the impact of our sample storage and reanalysis programme on deterring athletes from doping? 

Intelligence & Investigations

  • Are there alternative methods towards gathering information on suspected doping activity?
Data Analytics

Using data to inform our policies and processes, we seek to answer:

  • What can our existing data can tell us?
  • Does Artificial Intelligence have a role in supporting anti-doping activities?


Expressions of Interest

Our research priorities are intended to stimulate interest and offer the opportunity for academic researchers and other stakeholder partners to submit expressions of interest towards research projects.

Interested parties are invited to submit a project proposal that addresses any of the identified research priorities. Please download the application template to ensure sufficient details are provided.

Call for Proposals

UKAD may occasionally initiate specific research projects through Calls for Proposals (CfP) on this page. We will publish a CfP document, inviting researchers or other stakeholder partners to submit proposals to address a specific need.

Each call document will include a summary of the purpose of the project, the outputs required and details of the timeframe and available budget. Applicants are advised to review both the call document and application template for guidance. An application deadline will be defined in the CfP document.

Seeking Partners

The Insight & Innovation team welcome innovative approaches from other organisations, particularly from other sectors, offering novel methods towards tackling our challenges.

Do you see an opportunity to collaborate on an innovative project that can help UKAD protect clean sport?
Can your organisation offer a unique approach to answering our problems?
Have you identified an area of our operations that your organisation can help us improve?

If so, we want to hear from you.