As health researchers we seek to improve health outcomes in the lives of those we study. To achieve our goal the results of our research have to reach those who can use them. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. To build an infrastructure of translational health research that moves new information to patients, clinics, and communities, we need to work together, across university lines to support and promote our collective health research activities. The momentum of our activities will help us propel an idea, into a single study, into a program of fundable health research. A strong translational health research infrastructure requires our work to be:
Cutting edge research gains momentum by gaining the attention of those who can benefit from it. Engaging with colleagues in our own departments and disciplines is one way to gain research momentum, but engaging with colleagues in different fields and at different universities helps build teams to develop cutting edge research in your field of study.
Our internal research network of support helps propel our external reputation and success. Crosscutting relationships provide necessary knowledge and relationships to do good work over time. Strong research teams establish our credibility to funders, and our ability to deliver the projects that get funded.
Compelling research has the Wow Factor that makes a funder want to be involved. Translational health research typically validates or challenges people’s habits, and compels them to say or do something differently to improve their health. How can we engage our audience to encourage healthy habits, or to reduce risky or unhealthy habits? If findings from a research project do not have direct application to improve the health of humans, who is next in the chain of scholars who can move a discovery from the bench, to the bedside, to the community and population
As a community of scholars, it is our job to make sure we speak and write in ways that make our work accessible to all those who might benefit from it. Health and health care will ultimately be transformed by new ideas and discoveries that are developed, shared, and applied to improve health and health care. Our university will be transformed by the collective story of our health research activities.