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Evaluating Research Outcomes

For more than 100 years, the MRC has been transforming medical research and supporting work that has improved human health and changed lives by delivering economic, academic and societal impact. This is in line with our strategic plan, which drives progress in support of our mission to improve human health through world-class research. The benefits of our research have both a national and international impact: picking research that delivers to combat societal health challenges, translating research into tangible benefits, supporting and providing leadership in addressing global health and providing a world-class environment for medical research.

Monitoring, analysis and evaluation are critical components of achieving our mission by helping to reveal the quality of the research we fund and the processes to expand its impact.  We are continually working to improve the monitoring of input and output of our research portfolio and the methodology and techniques for assessing research impact. Additionally, we collaborate with other research funding agencies to evolve stronger principles and policies to ensure robust evaluation. These include openness and use of the FAIR principles.

We have a number of available databases recording research activity at an individual, national and global level that offer opportunities for analysis of the research landscape by outcome, by field, and by location. Data from these resources combined with other information form the basis for our evaluation reports.

A recent example of of this is the report on the outcomes and impact of the Clinical Research Infrastructure Initiative (PDF, 1.47MB) funded in 2015.

10 year MRC Translational Research Evaluation Report (PDF, 1.22MB)

This report looks at MRC’s support for translational research and the progress made since the MRC increased its commitment to translation in 2008/9.  The evaluation explores what MRC translational research has delivered, the national and international context for translational research, and issues to address in future funding.

UK health research classification system

The HRCS is used to classify biomedical research awards by area of health/disease and the type of research being carried out. The  most recent UK report (2018) is the largest ever analysis of the UK health research funding landscape, covering 146 organisations, 22k+ awards and an estimated £4.8bn spend in 2018.

UK and global research funding databases

Gatewat to research webpage image - click to visit website

Gateway to Research: database of UK publicly funded research projects

World Report webpage image - click to visit website

World RePORT: database of the research projects funded by 12 international funders around the globe

Developing science of science policy