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Impact categories

Impact categories for evaluating HRB funded research

The HRB evaluation team tracks and collates the wide variety of outputs and outcomes that arise from its funded research over time, and uses this information to evaluate the benefits and impact of its investment in health research against the HRBs strategic objectives and mission. The manifold outputs and outcomes of HRB-funded research can be grouped into five broad categories of impact, listed below, with indicative indicators included under each category

1. Knowledge Production
  • Peer reviewed publications and citations
  • Other publications such as books, book chapters, editorials or bulletins
  • Presentations to national and international conferences
  • Research reports and 'grey literature' produced
  • Cochrane systematic reviews produced or findings included in a review
2. Research capacity-building
  • Education and training of personnel such as clinicians, health professionals and scientists
  • Higher degrees, such as PhD, obtained by research personnel
  • Retention rates of research personnel in national research system
  • Research personnel attracted from overseas
  • Spin-off projects developed and further research funding leveraged
  • Development and use of novel research techniques
  • Establishment of new datasets, databases or research data lodged in national database
  • New national/international collaborations or strategic partnerships formed with other research teams, industrial partners or health agencies
  • Level of all-Ireland collaboration and benefits accruing from this
  • Internationalisation of research: Involvement of HRB-funded researchers with EU and global health research initiatives
3. Informing policy and product development
  • Dissemination and knowledge-transfer events or networks established with research 'users', such as policy-makers and health professionals
  • Advisory roles of HRB-funded researchers to government or policy-makers
  • Commissioned reports or projects from government departments or agencies
  • Policy briefing papers, practical handbooks and other grey material produced and disseminated to research users such as policy-makers and health professionals
  • Evidence of public outreach and dissemination through media and other fora
  • Patents and other IP applications and award of commercialisation support grants to develop marketable products or devices
  • Licence agreements and revenues generated as a resultSpin-out companies or formal collaborative partnerships between researchers and industry
4. Population health and health sector benefits
  • Contribution of research to clinical treatment or best practice guidelines
  • Contribution of HRB-funded research to health promotion initiatives
  • Randomised control trials completed and new interventions established as a result
  • Numbers of patients enrolled on clinical trials or engaged with studies undertaken in clinical research facilities supported by the HRB
  • Contribution of HRB-funded research to actual health benefits within Irish population
  • Savings to the health system through gains in health service efficiency, improved primary care or introduction of preventative health measures, where research and evidence generated by HRB-funded researchers contributed to this
  • Reduced health inequalities in health status and healthcare through better, targeted information and policies towards vulnerable groups, where research and evidence generated by HRB-funded researchers contributed to this
  • Increased availability of local pool of evidence and evidence 'generators' to Irish health policy-makers and health practitioners
5. Wider economic impacts
  • Improved international reputation of Ireland for health and medical research (eg by attracting pharma industry R&D and collaborative partnerships with HRB-funded researchers invited keynote addresses to international conferences, involvement of HRB-funded researchers in international research programmes)
  • Benefits of improved population health such as reduction in work days lost to ill health, greater productivity, greater longevity and quality of life, where link to HRB generated research can be established
  • Success of HRB-funded personnel in attaining international research funding, for example though the EU's Framework Programmes
  • Success of HRB-funded research facilities and centres in attracting and maintaining a high-quality research workforce in Ireland.

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