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Strategic aim 1: Championing UK health and social care research

Last updated on 19 Mar 2018

Health and social care research ultimately has a single aim: to bring benefits to the lives of patients and the broader public. But the research sector as a whole is also a major contributor to the UK economy, underpinned by the unique combination of a National Health Service working collaboratively with many sectors including industry and a large number of charities.

The research sector is a major contributor to the UK economy. The HRA will play a key role in maintaining this by:

  1. Being a champion for transparency in research
  2. Involving the public in research

It is important that the UK retains its position as one of the best places in the world to do high quality research by attracting and retaining experts and innovators.

The HRA has a key role to play as part of the overall UK health research landscape. The NHS working collaboratively with many sectors including industry, academia and a large number of charities makes the UK an attractive place to do research.

Be a champion for transparency in research

A fundamental strand of our work is leading the drive for transparency so that research findings are published and widely available. We will be working with others and leading new initiatives in transparency to make a difference to the UK research economy.

Research findings must be readily available and accessible to enhance research evidence and knowledge and to avoid waste caused by duplication of work which has already been done. We are proud of our track record in encouraging registration of research studies once they are designed, and publication and dissemination of research studies when they are completed. Guidelines need to keep evolving to keep pace with technological advances that offer new models for dissemination, appropriate to the type of study. Over the next 2 years we intend to work collaboratively to update our guidance including offering advice on dissemination of incomplete or negative findings.

Effectively engage and involve the public and research participants through evidence-based and collaborative strategies

We want to see all researchers involving patients and the public at every stage of their study, from initial design through to sharing their findings. By doing this, researchers get a better understanding of real life experience to inform their study design and to have meaningful discussions about risks and ethical issues which helps them address these before we review their research study proposal. It aids  participant understanding, and those taking part in research may have the confidence to choose to do so because patients are part of the process. Our guidance and support will help researchers to ensure that this becomes part of normal custom and practice.

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