Cover: Project Retrosight

Project Retrosight

Understanding the returns from cardiovascular and stroke research: Methodology Report

Published Mar 6, 2011

by Alexandra Pollitt, Steven Wooding, Stephen Hanney, Martin Buxton, Jonathan Grant

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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 detailed methodology of the study. It will be of interest to those involved in research and impact evaluation.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was supported by the National Institute for Health Research, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the National Heart Foundation of Australia and was conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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