Building Research Capacity for Impact in Applied Health Services Research Partnerships; Comment on “Experience of Health Leadership in Partnering With University-Based Researchers in Canada – A Call to “Re-imagine” Research”

Document Type : Commentary


1 NIHR Collaboration and Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for Yorkshire and Humber (CLAHRC YH), Sheffield, UK

2 Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK


Bowen and colleagues ask us to re-imagine how to conduct research in academic-practice partnerships, and to develop capacity in the applied research and health workforce to do this. This commentary reinforces their messages, and describes a framework of research capacity development for impact (RCDi) which emphasizes active and continuous experiential learning within research partnerships. The RCDi framework includes the need to focus on multiple levels in the collaboration architecture, and describes principles of working that aims to increase impact on services, and learning opportunities for all partners.


  1. Bowen S, Botting I, Graham ID, et al. Experience of health leadership in partnering with university-based researchers in Canada - a call to "re-imagine" research. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2019;8(12):684-699. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2019.66
  2. Cooke J, Ariss S, Smith C, Read J. On-going collaborative priority-setting for research activity: a method of capacity building to reduce the research-practice translational gap. Health Res Policy Syst. 2015;13:25. doi:10.1186/s12961-015-0014-y
  3. Soper B, Yaqub O, Hinrichs S, et al. CLAHRCs in practice: combined knowledge transfer and exchange strategies, cultural change, and experimentation. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2013;18(3 Suppl):53-64. doi:10.1177/1355819613499903
  4. Cooke J. A framework to evaluate research capacity building in health care. BMC Fam Pract. 2005;6:44. doi:10.1186/1471-2296-6-44
  5. Cooke J, Gardois P, Booth A. Uncovering the mechanisms of research capacity development in health and social care: a realist synthesis. Health Res Policy Syst. 2018;16(1):93. doi:10.1186/s12961-018-0363-4
  6. Barratt H, Shaw J, Simpson L, Bhatia S, Fulop N. Health services research: building capacity to meet the needs of the health care system. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2017;22(4):243-249. doi:10.1177/1355819617714815
  7. Soper B, Hinrichs S, Drabble S, et al. Delivering the aims of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care: understanding their strategies and contributions. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2015.
  8. Condell SL, Begley C. Capacity building: a concept analysis of the term applied to research. Int J Nurs Pract. 2007;13(5):268-275. doi:10.1111/j.1440-172X.2007.00637.x
  9. Barratt H, Fulop NJ. Building capacity to use and undertake research in health organisations: a survey of training needs and priorities among staff. BMJ Open. 2016;6(12):e012557. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016-012557
  10. Rycroft-Malone J, Burton CR, Bucknall T, Graham ID, Hutchinson AM, Stacey D. Collaboration and co-production of knowledge in healthcare: opportunities and challenges. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2016;5(4):221-223. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.08
  11. Greenhalgh T, Jackson C, Shaw S, Janamian T. Achieving research impact through co‐creation in community‐based health services: literature review and case study. Milbank Q. 2016;94(2):392-429. doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12197
  12. Langley J, Wolstenholme D, Cooke J. 'Collective making' as knowledge mobilisation: the contribution of participatory design in the co-creation of knowledge in healthcare. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018;18(1):585. doi:10.1186/s12913-018-3397-y
  13. Graham ID, Logan J, Harrison MB, et al. Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map? J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2006;26(1):13-24. doi:10.1002/chp.47
  14. Hampshaw S, Cooke J, Mott L. What is a research derived actionable tool, and what factors should be considered in their development? A Delphi study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018;18(1):740. doi:10.1186/s12913-018-3551-6
  15. Scarbrough H, D'Andreta D, Evans S, et al. Networked innovation in the health sector: comparative qualitative study of the role of Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in translating research into practice. Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; 2014.
  16. Currie G, Lockett A, El Enany N. From what we know to what we do: lessons learned from the translational CLAHRC initiative in England. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2013;18(3 suppl):27-39. doi:10.1177/1355819613500484
  17. D'Andreta D, Scarbrough H, Evans S. The enactment of knowledge translation: a study of the Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care initiative within the English National Health Service. J Health Serv Res Policy. 2013;18(3 suppl):40-52. doi:10.1177/1355819613499902
  18. Kislov R, Waterman H, Harvey G, Boaden R. Rethinking capacity building for knowledge mobilisation: developing multilevel capabilities in healthcare organisations. Implement Sci. 2014;9:166. doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0166-0
  19. Boaz A, Hanney S, Jones T, Soper B. Does the engagement of clinicians and organisations in research improve healthcare performance: a three-stage review. BMJ Open. 2015;5(12):e009415. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009415
Volume 10, Issue 2
February 2021
Pages 93-97
  • Receive Date: 23 November 2019
  • Revise Date: 18 January 2020
  • Accept Date: 19 January 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 February 2021