In 2018, the LRI conducted a stakeholders’ consultation to evaluate its research priority areas. This has led to a revision of the research priorities to the five areas listed below. The revised research priority areas are also aligned with the research agenda of the Global Partnership for Zero Leprosy (GPZL).

As of 2020, the five research priorities of the LRI are as follows:

1. Diagnostic tests

Development and testing new assays for diagnosis of disease and infection.

2. Disability

On the one hand, promote prevention, early detection and effective treatment of nerve function impairment (NFI) and reactions. And on the other hand improve the coverage of prevention of disability activities and their integration in national programmes and integrated wound and limb care programmes.

3. Operational research

Operational research and geospatial mapping to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, or reach of available tools, in order to improve health programs and health outcomes. 

4. Stigma and discrimination

Testing stigma reduction interventions, promoting the inclusion and mental wellbeing of leprosy affected persons, and studying behaviour change approaches. 

5. Transmission

Test methods and tools to interrupt the transmission and incidence of leprosy, including increasing the coverage of effective contact management and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis and vaccines.