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Changes to how we assess research impact

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We are continuing to roll out changes to the prospective assessment of research impact  that will apply at the Expression of Interest and full application stages for our 2020 HRC Programme and Project funding rounds.

The changes we made to the research impact criterion in our 2019 funding rounds for Programmes and Projects in the Health and Wellbeing in New Zealand and the Improving Outcomes for Acute and Chronic Conditions research investment streams (RIS), will now extend across all RIS. Specific details on what these changes will look like for the Rangahau Hauora Māori research investment stream were circulated in our May announcement.

The research impact criterion centres around two sections: (1) a description of how the applicants’ research might be used and the anticipated benefits for New Zealand; and (2) an action plan to maximise the use and benefits of research.

Applicants are encouraged to respond to these sections relative to their specific research context. We advise you to reference your line-of-sight to eventual impact, but focus the discussion on what is realistically achievable within your sphere of influence. Keep it relevant and keep it credible.

It is critical for the HRC to show benefit to New Zealand from our investment. It is a key expectation from the Government and strengthens our case for increased investment in health research. By asking applicants from all disciplines to think about potential impact from the planning stages of their research, they may be better placed to create and respond to opportunities to maximise the potential for impact during the research process. This is one way we aim to increase the collective benefits and impacts from the portfolio of research that we fund.

A new HRC research impact slideshow video provides more details about these refinements, including the HRC's definition of research impact and the 'pathway to impact' model that guides our work at both the assessment of prospective impact stage and the evaluation of impact stage. The science sector in New Zealand and health research funders globally are also exploring and addressing these complex issues.