Analysis of research and education indicators to support designation of Academic Health Science Centres in England

by Salil Gunashekar, Petal Hackett, Sophie Castle-Clarke, Ros Rouse, Jonathan Grant

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Posted on May 22, 2013.

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In April 2013, the Department of Health (DH) announced an open competition to designate Academic Health Science Centres (AHSCs) in England. To support the current competition, the DH commissioned RAND Europe to compile and analyse various types of publicly available data and quality assessments in the domains of medical research and health education.

This report presents the results of this analysis in the form of summary 'tables of excellence', focussing on medical schools/academic partners likely to seek AHSC status. A detailed bibliometric analysis of health-related research publications has also been carried out and is presented. In addition, the report provides an overview of the publicly available data and outlines the significant caveats to using the data to produce education and research rankings for institutions.

Given the various caveats and the requirements to balance two domains of activity (research and education), the ranking methodology presented in this report can be used in an 'advisory' capacity to provide a general indication of the quality of the candidate AHSC institutions. The analysis is intended to assist potential applicants in deciding whether to submit a pre-qualifying questionnaire as part of the procurement process, and subsequently to inform the deliberations of the selection panel for the AHSCs.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two


  • Chapter Three

    Research excellence rankings

  • Chapter Four

    Education excellence rankings

  • Chapter Five

    Concluding remarks

  • Appendix A

    Summary information about the research indicators

  • Appendix B

    Summary information about the education indicators

  • Appendix C

    Journal Subject Category fields used in the bibliometric analysis

  • Appendix D

    Further results from the bibliometric analysis

  • Appendix E

    National Training Survey 2012: Rankings of NHS trusts/boards in England

  • Appendix F

    Comparison of English rankings with global rankings

Research conducted by

The research described in this document was prepared for the Department of Health (England) and conducted by RAND Europe.

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