What makes research useful? We still don't know

Academics, funders and policymakers must work out how research should influence decision-making, says our new piece in Research Fortnight

09 . 11 . 2018

In this piece in Research Fortnight, we argue that to transform the use of research evidence, both within specific disciplines and decision-making contexts, and at a broader meta-level, we need:

  1. Leadership to promote the importance of using research evidence drawing on learning from across fields and disciplines
  2. Mechanisms for international collaboration, whether that’s through funding, other infrastructure, or good old-fashioned goodwill
  3. Ways to enable better learning across disciplines and countries about the role of evidence
  4. Stakeholder engagement to build a sense of a shared endeavour
  5. Convening events to provide a much-needed space for those in different fields and roles to talk and learn from each other
  6. A scientific programme cutting across disciplines and associated fields providing opportunities for rich conceptual and empirical work
  7. Supporting the development of careers in this space through internships programmes, PhD fellowships, postdocs and awards to support conference attendance in different fields and countries

We will continue to push these ideas forwards over the next months and years. Do get in touch with any events, research or fellowship / internship opportunities.

Kathryn Oliver is Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Annette Boaz is Professor in Health Care Research at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. They are co-leads of Transforming Evidence.

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