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This project explores the impacts arising from cardiovascular and stroke research funded 15-20 years ago and attempts to draw out aspects of the research, researcher or environment that are associated with high or low impact.

The project is a case study-based review of 29 cardiovascular and stroke research grants, funded in Australia, Canada and UK between 1989 and 1993. The case studies focused on the individual grants but considered the development of the investigators and ideas involved in the research projects from initiation to the present day. Grants were selected through a stratified random selection approach that aimed to include both high- and low-impact grants. The key messages are as follows: 1) The cases reveal that a large and diverse range of impacts arose from the 29 grants studied. 2) There are variations between the impacts derived from basic biomedical and clinical research. 3) There is no correlation between knowledge production and wider impacts 4) The majority of economic impacts identified come from a minority of projects. 5) We identified factors that appear to be associated with high and low impact.

This report presents the key observations of the study and an overview of the methods involved. It has been written for funders of biomedical and health research and health services, health researchers, and policy makers in those fields. It will also be of interest to those involved in research and impact evaluation.

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The research described in this report was conducted by RAND Europe.

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