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Questions submitted are taken forward to the next round of prioritisation. This is a multi-stage process:
When the deadline has closed, all submitted questions are circulated to our stakeholders who represent the collaboration. The stakeholders then vote electronically to identify what they think are the most promising questions based on our research prioritisation criteria;
The questions with the most votes at this stage go forward to the Evidence Synthesis Team, who prepare a ‘priority briefing’– this will include all the information from the submission along with any existing evidence on the topic to fill in any gaps;
The priority briefings will then be presented at a Stakeholder Prioritisation Meeting and another vote conducted. The resulting ranked list forms the basis for adopting projects, based on our expertise and capacity. This process is once again based around the research prioritisation criteria;
We will inform all submitters of the outcome of the prioritisation process;
Successful topics will be taken forward for further research and will be published on our website.
All partners within our collaboration are eligible to vote. Each partner nominates one voting member.
In 2017 these partners were:
Stakeholders are asked to vote on topics based on whether they meet our prioritisation criteria. For each topic these assess:
The level of involvement is up to the question submitter. Some submitters may just want some research to be carried out on an important area but not have the time to fully commit themselves to a project. This kind of situation is common and we would make an effort to ensure that the submitter is updated on progress. In other circumstances, the submitter may want to be as involved as possible – in this case the only thing that may restrict them is their other commitments. Please be aware that a topic may not be developed in the geographical area in which it was submitted if it makes more practical sense to develop it elsewhere in the region. Even in these circumstances, the submitter is encouraged to remain involved to the extent that they are able.
We expect that more questions will be generated than can ultimately be addressed. An explicit prioritisation system will be used to filter questions. This will be based on; (i) prevalence/incidence and health and resource impact of the problem from a local and national perspective; (ii) the potential for health gain; (iii) the feasibility of the research question, and; (iv) the appropriateness of the local environment to address the question. Questions not prioritised will be signposted to other appropriate research bodies locally and nationally.
The timescale for answering questions (i.e. conducting the review, primary research, implementation or evaluation) will depend on the type of question. For a systematic review, we might hope to have a final product in a few months. Primary research will depend on how long it takes to receive funding and how long the intervention and follow-up needs to be. Implementation projects will depend on the willingness and ability of staff and organisations to bring about change.
For questions that are not successful in the prioritisation process the question submitter will be informed and, where appropriate, we may suggest submitting the question to other research units, such as the NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre (NETSCC). No questions will be used further without the permission and involvement of the original submitter.
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