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Research

FOCUS AREA 1

International Leadership in Health Research

  PRIORITY INITIATIVE 1.1
  Identify Relative Potential and Mobilize
EXECUTIVE SPONSOR

Roger McLeod

 

PROJECT LEAD(S)
Sultan Darvesh, Craig McCormick, Chris McMaster, Andrew Makrigiannis, David Kirkpatrick, Godfrey Heathcote, Jean Marshall, Janie Wilson
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PRIORITY INITIATIVES
1.2; 2.1, 2.2

DESCRIPTION

Historically, the Faculty of Medicine has supported the “grass-roots” development of research. Our new, draft research Strategy addresses two opportunities: targeting international competitiveness while delivering health benefits for the Maritime region.

We believe that blending our two Research Focus Areas adds strength; achieving national/ international recognition for accomplishments in important areas of health care research strengthens our role as the Medical School for the Maritimes.  Conversely, Research that is Responsive to Health Needs across the Maritimes could lead to results that can be adapted for success in national and international settings.

This strategy will:  Identify the relative potential of FoM research teams/clusters based on the quality of their work and their relative preparedness.  It will achieve consensus around FoM research priorities and the Teams/Clusters that have near, medium or longer-term potential to help advance this Focus Area.  There will be more and better private sector relationships, with spin-off company development, industry-based partnerships in our research initiatives, and increased commercialization and uptake of our research.

THE PATH AS WE SEE IT

  1. Introduce a credible approach by which Teams/Clusters self-identify according to their near, medium or longer-term potential to help advance the FoM goal as defined by the component outcomes. (Year 1)
  2. Explore with those who declare, new means of combining their research programs and collaborating.  Consider including external experts to offer advice re:  real targets, potential achievements, and infrastructure and support goals.
    (Year 1)
  3. Repeat the cycle, strengthening the process with each call
    (Year 2 and annually thereafter)
  4.  Conduct a thorough mid-term check-in on each Team/ Cluster: vs. original design and goals/intended progress; vs. promised supports and recruits; identifying updated goals and needs; and exploring dynamics contributing to demonstrated growth or signaling need for refinement. Year 3
  5. Conduct a formal, overall evaluation of processes and outcomes.  Make major redesign decisions to the overall approach accordingly. (Year 5)

View the Dalhousie Medicine Strategic Plan for all the details.
 

PRIORITY INITIATIVE 1.2
Strengthen infrastructure and supports
EXECUTIVE SPONSOR
Roger McLeod

 

PROJECT LEAD(S)
Sultan Darvesh, Craig McCormick, Chris McMaster, Andrew Makrigiannis, David Kirkpatrick, Godfrey Heathcote, Jean Marshall, Janie Wilson
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PRIORITY INITIATIVES
1.1 ; 3.3

DESCRIPTION

Historically, the Faculty of Medicine has supported the “grass-roots” development of research. Our new, draft research Strategy addresses two opportunities: targeting international competitiveness while delivering health benefits for the Maritime region.

We believe that blending our two Research Focus Areas adds strength; achieving national/ international recognition for accomplishments in important areas of health care research strengthens our role as the Medical School for the Maritimes.  Conversely, Research that is Responsive to Health Needs across the Maritimes could lead to results that can be adapted for success in national and international settings.

This strategy will see: specific, identified barriers addressed effectively; more investigators motivated, able to try, and satisfied with the process; and more investigators that are successful completing the ‘non-science’ sections of grant applications for large-scale projects.

Identified gaps will be addressed in such a way as to strengthen infrastructure and supports for all FoM research programs … ‘floating all boats’ as they say.

THE PATH AS WE SEE IT

Work with investigators to determine what would motivate them to come together.  Assumed examples include: (Years 1 – 5)

a.   Access to experienced guides i.e. … Project Manager, Grant Writer, Business/ Government Liaisons (embedded or seconded from SPOR or ILI, not just FoM)

b.   Help with non-science portions of grant applications

c.   Coverage for costs including team development, team pilot studies, technical support, travel, recruitment

d.   Enhanced Centralized Operation of Research Equipment & Support (CORES) for the base to make it more more ‘plug and play’; e.g. via staff scientists supporting experimental design and learner/tech training

e.   Change faculty appointment and promotion processes to recognize and support team-based research

f.    Lobbying and improved protected time, time to chase funding, as well as broad-based support to liberate PIs and Technicians from ‘administrivia’.

g.   Waiving differential fees for international students

h.   Leveraging teams’ funding to date and committing to new funds should applications be successful. (Could be in-kind dollars like CORE-hours, or more Graduate scholarships aligned with the successful application like 25 stipends worth of money) 

i.    Debriefing after unsuccessful grants, case studies or exemplars that were successful

j.    Tools to facilitate networking by making available names, picture, keywords, best paper

 

View the Dalhousie Medicine Strategic Plan for all the details.

FOCUS AREA 2

Research that is Responsive to Health Needs across the Maritimes

PRIORITY INITIATIVE 2.1
Partner to establish focus & momentum
EXECUTIVE SPONSOR
Roger McLeod

 

PROJECT LEAD(S)
Tony Reiman, Ron George, Adrian Levy, Christine Chambers, Melissa Andrew, Yukiko Asada, Lisa Barrett
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PRIORITY INITIATIVES
2.2; 4.1; 5.1; 7.1 &7.2

DESCRIPTION

Historically, the Faculty of Medicine has supported the “grass-roots” development of research. Research designed to improve the health of Maritime Canadians has not been an explicit focus.  Our new, draft research Strategy addresses two opportunities: targeting international competitiveness while delivering health benefits for the Maritime region.

We believe that by blending our two Research Focus Areas, this Strategy strengthens our role as the Medical School for the Maritimes.

This strategy will:  Develop joint Maritime research initiatives, ensuring that meaningful Faculty of Medicine partnerships will flourish with other faculties, with Maritime Health Authorities, Ministries of Health, and Research Foundations, with the public/communities, and with the private sector.  We will build alliances one community-focused research agreement at a time and assess the extent to which progress at the end of 4 years informs the value and feasibility of forming a Maritime Academic Health Sciences Network.

THE PATH AS WE SEE IT

  1. Co-lead the establishment of evidence-based processes by which partners will collaboratively identify priority health needs across the Maritimes. 
    (Year 1)
  2. Agree on a priority-setting approach that merges knowledge of unmet health needs at the system level and needs identified through community engagement (e.g. using a micro-research-based method). (Year 1)
  3. Create research agreements informed by Year 1 processes, and by our current strengths.  (Year 2 & then annually)
  4. Conduct an overall evaluation against the targeted outcomes and make a renewal decision accordingly. (End of Year 4)

View the Dalhousie Medicine Strategic Plan for all the details.

PRIORITY INITIATIVE 2.2
Strengthen infrastructure and supports to help drive the Joint Research Strategy
EXECUTIVE SPONSOR
Roger McLeod

 

PROJECT LEAD(S)
Tony Reiman, Ron George, Adrian Levy, Christine Chambers, Melissa Andrew, Yukiko Asada, Lisa Barrett
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PRIORITY INITIATIVES
1.2 ; 2.1

DESCRIPTION

Historically, the Faculty of Medicine has supported the “grass-roots” development of research. Research designed to improve the health of Maritime Canadians has not been an explicit focus.  Our new, draft research Strategy addresses 2 opportunities: targeting international competitiveness while delivering health benefits for the Maritime region.  We believe that by blending our 2 Research Focus Areas, this Strategy strengthens our role as the Medical School for the Maritimes.

This strategy will:  See that there is an appropriate number and mix of health researchers and engaged community clinicians relative to the needs identified under Priority 2.1; ensure effective infrastructure and support strategies; get behind implementation of ‘one person – one record’ to enable patient-based research; and grow real support for translational and outcomes-based research and related infrastructure.

THE PATH AS WE SEE IT

  1. Identify examples of health researchers who maximize their protected research time to produce great results meeting targeted health needs across the Maritimes  (Year 1)

    Ensure that practice plans for our top health researchers protect research time. Systematically monitor compliance.

    Develop case studies from current examples demonstrating: Positive impact on the health of Maritimers; productive relationships and partnerships; integrated knowledge translation; cost effectiveness/ return on investment; and policy impact.

  2. Introduce an accessible, core FoM resource (person/function) that is accountable to actively engage and support researchers working in this Focus Area. (Year 1)

  3. Introduce a health researcher recruitment and retention strategy to fill identified gaps.  Ensure that practice plans for our top health researchers protect research time, and systematically monitor compliance. Use innovative approaches to mobilize clinicians across the Maritimes, engaging them at first in basic ways, and gradually advancing their research skillsets.  (Year 2)

  4. Address inter-institutional factors that impede translational and outcomes-based research, and obtaining required infrastructure and supports. (Years 2 to 4)

  5. Introduce or strengthen mentorship programs, including internal peer review of grant applications.  (Years 2 to 4)

View the Dalhousie Medicine Strategic Plan for all the details.