Members from across the Forum attended a multi-stakeholder meeting on the 6th March with representation from UK partners including the HRA, NIHR, Health & Care Research Wales, NHS England, The Association of Medical Research Charities and Northern Ireland. The snows sadly thwarted NHS Research Scotland and a few delegates, but we had good representation from across the community despite the weather.
The meeting was convened between the Forum and NIHR to discuss how we can add value to research through research management, support and leadership practice with thanks to NIHR colleagues for their support.
We first heard from Matt Westmore, Chief Operating Officer at NIHR Evaluation Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre about the well-established NIHR framework for adding value in research (AViR) and the group spent some time providing feedback on how this presents from the perspective of an NHS organisation rather than a research project. We were delighted to influence and help shape an adding value framework for R&D, and the group had some strong views on how it might be developed further for presentation at the Forum annual conference in May.
Discussions were held on the purpose of the framework and how it might be used to help shape a quality research culture, where the “users” of research are at an organisational level (ranging from Patients to clinicians, to commissioners and the Board) and that communicating the value in research conducted was perhaps as important as ensuring that the value in research exists. Examples of what we do well now were shared and we took time to look at how we might move forward in creating really practical steps for the community in support of the value in research. Notes from the day are being compiled for sharing and work continues on the framework for presentation.
What was striking from the day was the passion the delegates had for communicating value and ensuring research impact, that regulation is seen as an enabling stream (not a standard in itself), and that research value is just as much about culture as it is about a good project.
We were very careful through out the day to focus on the value of research itself and not our value as research managers and research leaders, however in developing this framework we should, by extension, develop in our roles.