What are we trying to do?
The principle of collaboration, ‘the action of working with someone to produce something’, sits at the heart of all thirteen of the National Institute for Health Research Collaborations for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (NIHR CLAHRCs), whether this be working in collaboration with patients, the public, industry, the third sector, or other healthcare organisations. Within this broader agenda, involving stakeholders and ‘research users’ in the design and implementation of applied health research is widely regarded to be an important part of the overall research process. Such ‘co-production’ of research often faces a number of challenges, which arise inevitably from the differing interests, perspectives, objectives and needs of the organisations involved. From the experience of the NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester, it is apparent that many of these challenges can be overcome through joint working, discussion and compromise. However, the existing literature says very little about how such compromises are reached in practice, and what influence they have on the content, quality and overall impact of applied health research. This study aims to address this gap in our current understanding.
Why is it important?
This study will enable us to:
Gain a deeper understanding of an issue that is of crucial relevance for the success of the NIHR CLAHRCs in particular and collaborative research partnerships in general;
Learn, and share practical lessons, about what ‘effective collaboration’ may look like in practice and how this may be achieved;
Develop new collaborative ways of working within the context of applied health research.
How will we do it?
The study will look at four projects within the NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester, which have been purposely selected to capture an array of different ‘project types’ (for example, feasibility v implementation) and involve organisations that have been partners in the CLAHRC for different periods of time. For each project, the process of ‘co-production’ will be explored by (1) interviews with staff from both the CLAHRC and the partner organisation(s) involved, (2) observations of relevant meetings, and (3) analysis of key documents and email trails. Consent to take part in the study will be sought from both the organisations and individuals involved.
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For further information about the project, please contact Roman Kislov.