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Health Res Policy Syst. 2009 Apr 22;7:8. doi: 10.1186/1478-4505-7-8.

Research collaboration in Tehran University of Medical Sciences: two decades after integration.

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  • 1School of Public Health, Centre for Academic and Health Policy (CAHP), TUMS-KTE Study Group, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



In 1985 medical schools were integrated into the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Health and Medical Education was created in Iran. Under this infrastructure education, research and service provision are unified, and it is expected that collaboration between researchers and decision makers become easier in such an integrated context.The question here is how the researchers behavior in the biggest medical university of the country towards collaboration is, i.e. how much do decision makers participate in different stages of research? Which factors affect it?


The samples under study were all Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) completed research projects that had gotten grants in 2004 and were over by the time this study was done. Two questionnaires were designed for this study: i) the research checklist which was filled for 301 projects, ii) the researcher's questionnaire, which was sent to principle investigators, 208 of which were collected. Multiple linear regression analysis was used for evaluating the potential factors affecting individuals 'collaboration score'.


Only 2.2 percent of TUMS' projects initiated in 2004 have had collaboration as a joint PI or co-investigator from non-academic organizations. The principle investigators mean collaboration score was 2.09, where 6 was the total score. So the collaboration score obtained was 35%. The 'type of research' had significant association with the collaboration score which is shown in the linear regression; collaboration was seen more in clinical (p = 0.007) and health system researches (p = 0.001) as compared to basic research.


The present study shows that not many individuals collaborated as co-investigators from outside the university. This finding shows that research policy makers need to introduce interventions in this field. And assessment of barriers to collaboration and its facilitating factors should be considered in order to make it actually happen.

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