Friday, 13 June 2014

New article: An approach to building research capacity for health practitioners in a public health environment: an organisational perspective

Please click here to view an article detailing how Queensland got their Allied Health Research Fellows through the industrial enterprise bargaining system.

The Abstract to the paper is as follows:

A unique opportunity to engage in research capacity-building strategies for health practitioners arose within public sector health services during the negotiations for an industrial agreement. A research capacity-building initiative for health practitioners that is allied health, oral health and scientist practitioners was funded and the components of this initiative are described.

The initiative was implemented using a research capacity-building framework developed from a review of the literature and stakeholder consultations. The framework included leadership and governance, support to researchers and translation of evidence into practice and was contextualised to public health environments. There were several phases of implementation.

An evaluation of the preliminary phase of establishing research positions and research activity was conducted and several successes of the capacity-building strategies were identified. These successes (e.g. solid partnerships with universities) are discussed, as are future concerns, such as sustainability of the initiative in a tighter fiscal context.

What is known about the topic? The literature identifies strategies to increase research capacity, including grant funds and bursaries, training in research methods, regular forums and networks for support, positions for research fellows and linkages and partnerships. There is minimal clarity or discourse around the organisational strategies or proposed evaluation of such strategies to enable or support research capacity building.

What does this paper add? This paper describes implementation of a research capacity-building framework developed from a unique opportunity to provide funding for research positions and grants embedded in an industrial agreement. It describes the organisational and cultural perspectives and framework to build a research culture based on this funding, in a predominantly clinical workforce.

What are the implications for practitioners? Research positions for allied health, oral health and scientist practitioners funded and supported jointly by a health organisation and a university are able to influence the number and quality of research proposals developed. These disciplines in other jurisdictions may use this model of research capacity building within their particular context.

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