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20 September 2019

In the 31 May and 27 June issues of our e-newsletter, Update, we provided information about important changes that we have made for those applying for the HRC's 2020 Project funding. If you missed it, we outlined how the New Zealand Health Delivery (NZHD) investment stream (normally a component of the Project funding round) will be delayed and run out of cycle to the other investment streams. We delayed the release of this component to redesign how we invest in and assess health delivery research proposals, and we are still working towards opening our new-look NZHD funding near the end of 2019.

What's going to be the focus of the HRC's new health delivery research investment?
The existing New Zealand Health Delivery signals in our Research Investment Streams document will still be broadly relevant. However, we're looking at changing the mechanisms and processes through which we invest so that we can enable more health delivery research to happen in the settings where it's needed most.

Evidence collated through consultation on the New Zealand Health Research Strategy and the Prioritisation Framework (Action 1) has given us a lot of information about the barriers, gaps and opportunities for health delivery research in New Zealand. The consultation also highlighted a lot of the strengths to be retained. We are now taking these insights to design a more comprehensive and fit-for-purpose investment opportunity that more effectively engages health delivery providers, addresses gaps, and further builds capacity and capability. We’re also working with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to ensure good connection and alignment across the system. 

As such, our revised investment in this area will aim to:

  • maintain support for the excellent research already happening in health delivery settings
  • reduce health inequities
  • embed a quality research and innovation culture in the health sector
  • identify and respond to New Zealand's evidence needs
  • support and grow the capacity and capability of the research workforce in health delivery settings
  • enable and orientate established health research expertise to further meet New Zealand's evidence needs
  • improve translation and uptake of research findings in policy and practice

What will be the end benefits?
Embedding a quality research and innovation culture within the health sector will help to address some of the current and future health challenges New Zealand is facing, ensuring that knowledge needs are identified by those directly involved in providing care. This will help health researchers, health professionals and patients. We aim to support the excellent research already happening in health delivery settings while equally enabling new research pathways, from establishing the evidence need, meeting the need through to translation of findings.

It is likely that the proposed changes will be phased in over two-to-three years. We'll keep you regularly updated via Update and will ensure that you have sufficient time to apply. In the meantime, we do encourage you to continue to build and strengthen your health delivery partnerships and understanding of health sector needs.