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Developing impact from TWENDE Research Project

The results of clinical studies published in national and international journals are generally of use only to other scientists looking at related topics.Project results and clinical data hidden in journals and reports are not easily accessed by stakeholders or the public, and seldom effect any real positive change without further support and promotion from the research group that generates them.

How do you make clinical research effective?: To be truly useful clinical research needs to result in impact – some wider change or effect related to the translation of clinical results into effective actions in the clinic and/or policy within a health service. To effect this clinical research data needs to be packaged and presented in such a way that it is available to the wider community and also to individuals and committees in positions of power in order that they can recommend and support appropriate changes through implementing evidence-based decision-making.

Knowledge exchange (KE): This is the broad term for the mechanism by which research teams translate and broadcast their work to make it more widely available to a range of interested stakeholders and to those in power seeking to address their countries challenges.

A range of activities inform, enhance and maximise research translation into impact arising from a research project:

• Research teams embracing a range of different skills

• Research teams including support for engagement activities with patients, collaborators, policymakers and regulators

• Projects building international connections

• Aim to achieve impact, not just good science and technology based on academic excellence

• Translation of scientific and clinical findings within the project for use with external agencies

• Use a variety of actions to achieve impact; a few will yield most of the returns

These activities are embedded in the TWENDE (Tuberculosis: Working to Empower Nations’ Diagnostics Efforts) project and to ensure we have the best chance to deliver broad clinical, social and economic impact, the TWENDE team will meet on 2nd July for a project workshop. We’ll use a Business Model Canvas exercise to capture the vision of the team and agree our KE strategy. Through the workshop we’ll review the possible routes to impact, discuss the individual benefits of each and agree the KE actions and activities that the project and each regional TWENDE team should undertake and promote.

Written by Ewan D. Chirnside (BSc., PhD), TWENDE Knowledge Transfer Expert.