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Acad Med. 2017 Oct;92(10):1456-1463. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001769.

Assessing and Communicating the Value of Biomedical Research: Results From a Pilot Study.

Author information

1
S. Guthrie is research leader, RAND Europe, Cambridge, United Kingdom. J. Krapels is senior analyst, RAND Europe, Cambridge, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0891-6083. A. Adams is director, Center for American Indian and Rural Health Equity, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana. At the time of the research presented here, she served as director, Collaborative Center for Health Equity, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. P. Alberti is senior director, Health Equity Research and Policy, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC. A. Bonham is former chief scientific officer, Association of American Medical Colleges, Washington, DC. B. Garrod is senior analyst, RAND Europe, Cambridge, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7634-2590. S. Esmond is administrative director, Collaborative Center for Health Equity, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. C. Scott is health equity outreach specialist, Collaborative Center for Health Equity, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin. G. Cochrane is senior analyst, RAND Europe, Cambridge, United Kingdom. S. Wooding is lead for research and analysis, Centre for Science and Policy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom; ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8036-1054.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Assessing the impact of research requires an approach that is sensitive both to the context of the research and the perspective of the stakeholders trying to understand its benefits. Here, the authors report on a pilot that applied such an approach to research conducted at the Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

METHOD:

The pilot assessed the academic impact of CCHE's work; the networks between CCHE and community partners; and the reach of CCHE's programs, including an attempt to estimate return on investment (ROI). Data included bibliometrics, findings from a stakeholder survey and in-depth interviews, and financial figures.

RESULTS:

The pilot illustrated how CCHE programs increase the capacity of community partners to advocate for their communities and engage with researchers to ensure that research benefits the community. The results illustrate the reach of CCHE's programs into the community. The authors produced an estimate of the ROI for one CCHE program targeting childhood obesity, and values ranged from negative to positive.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors experienced challenges using novel assessment techniques at a small scale including the lack of comparator groups and the scarcity of cost data for estimating ROI. This pilot demonstrated the value of research from a variety of perspectives-from academic to community. It illustrates how metrics beyond grant income and publications can capture the outputs of an academic health center in a way that may better align with the aims of the center and stakeholders.

PMID:
28640028
PMCID:
PMC5617770
[Available on 2018-10-01]
DOI:
10.1097/ACM.0000000000001769
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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