Introduction

In 2012, the University Bremen was elected “University of Excellence” as part of a competition by the Federal Government to identify Germany’s ten best universities. As part of the successful institutional strategy, the University Bremen designed research groups that should function as a bridge between recognized extramural research institutes and selected departments between the University Bremen. These “cooperative research group” are jointly funded and clustered around a particular research theme. In April 2014, the Leibniz Institute for Epidemiology and Prevention Research (BIPS) and the Institute for Public Health and Nursing Research, University Bremen, founded the Research Group for Evidence Based Public Health headed by Prof. Dr. Stefan K. Lhachimi.

Evidence-based public health is the scientifically rigorous development, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies to protect and improve overall health of a population or vulnerable sub-groups. In this project two methodological approaches will be combined. First, the carrying out of systematic reviews as already practiced in clinical epidemiology; however, the established methods must be adjusted to the specific challenges of population level interventions. Second, the quantification of the impact of interventions on overall health of the targeted population in order to allow an optimal decision, in particular in the case of competing interventions.