Evaluating Translational Research

A Process Marker Model

Published in: CTS, Clinical and Translational Science, v. 4, no. 3, June 2011, p. 153-162

Posted on RAND.org on June 01, 2011

by William M. K. Trochim, Cathleen Kane, Mark Graham, Harold Alan Pincus

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OBJECTIVE: We examine the concept of translational research from the perspective of evaluators charged with assessing translational efforts. One of the major tasks for evaluators involved in translational research is to help assess efforts that aim to reduce the time it takes to move research to practice and health impacts. Another is to assess efforts that are intended to increase the rate and volume of translation. METHODS: We offer an alternative to the dominant contemporary tendency to define translational research in terms of a series of discrete "phases." RESULTS: We contend that this phased approach has been confusing and that it is insufficient as a basis for evaluation. Instead, we argue for the identification of key operational and measurable markers along a generalized process pathway from research to practice. CONCLUSIONS: This model provides a foundation for the evaluation of interventions designed to improve translational research and the integration of these findings into a field of translational studies.

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