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Arch Iran Med. 2017 Nov 1;20(11):659-664.

Development of Health Research Structures Over the Last 25 Years: Main Achievements and Challenges.

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Deputy of Research and Technology, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.
Non-communicable Diseases Research Center, Endocrinology and Metabolism Population Sciences Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Dentofacial Deformities Research Center, Research Institute of Dental Sciences, Department of Orthodontics, Dental School, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



In 1990, one of the most important strategies of supporting and managing reproductive research focused on development of research structures. This targeted vision, at the first step, mainly followed through creating research units. The present paper aims to explore the policies and strategies of medical research centers (MRCs)development, and its achievements and challenges over the last 25 years.


Based on expected outcomes of better directions of research activities aligned with the priorities and policies of research, the Deputy of Research and Technology of Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME), initiated the set up and development of research units.


During the last 24 years, the number of MRCs has increased from 1 in 1992 to 736 in 2016. The progressive trends of expansion of the research centers are affected by a complex set of influencing factors. At first steps of program, the process of establishment and development of research structures followed slow trends in few unstructured primary centers. From 2008 to 2012, a rapid investment in development of research structures in biomedicine fields led to numerous complex challenges in supervision and management of MRCs (MRCs).


Participatory approach in research centers management, benefiting from all available capacities of research stakeholders, could be considered as a practical strategy for better management of limitations and achieving targeted goals.


Health research; Iran; Research center

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