Partnerships are at the heart of the Oxford BRC, which links a hospital and a university along with organisations that invest in research and people whom we hope will benefit from that research.
The multi-disciplinary Partnerships for Health, Wealth, and Innovations (PHWI) theme is led by Professor Trish Greenhalgh (University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences). Drawing on expertise from academia, industry, and clinical teams, work focusses on the interactions between groups of people and institutions that are key for the successful translation of research ideas to improved patient care. We are keen to maintain a patient-focused approach and have worked hard with themes across the BRC and beyond to maximise the benefits that can be achieved through good quality patient and public involvement at all stages of research, implementation, and practice change. We also evaluate research quality, developing guidelines and methodological frameworks to support robust research practices and reporting. The world-leading facilities and support for biotechnology and life sciences innovation in Oxford have enabled us to build successful partnerships with industry and policymakers that are helping to keep Oxford at the leading edge of biomedical innovation.
Current and recent projects include:
- Living systematic review assessing the validity and usefulness of published and preprint reports of prediction modelling for coronavirus. Read more.
- Evaluation of rapid change to primary care services introduced to limit transmission of COVID-19. Read more.
- Alongside the Imperial Biomedical Research Centre (London), the team in Oxford are developing a risk prediction tool to support assessment and treatment decisions for patients with COVID-19. Read more.
- Addressing the allocation of COVID-19 vaccination. Read more.
- Rapid implementation of a bespoke system to facilitate information sharing to support SARS-CoV-2 pandemic testing. Read more.
- Creation of a crowdsourced initiative to support open access drug development for potential SARS-CoV-2 antiviral treatment. Read more.
- PPI contributors from Oxford BRC joined the Health Research Authority (HRA) public involvement matching service to provide fast response feedback to new COVID-19 research studies. Read more.
- Evaluation of clinical practice guidelines as an instrument of change. Read more.
- Ongoing evaluation of quality metrics for research delivery. Read more.
- Health Economics support and evaluation for clinical trials. Read more.
- Supporting novel therapies and medical technologies from bench to bedside through the new Translational Research Office, Academic Industry Meeting days (AIMdays), and Entrepeneur in Residence.
- Assessing a unique method of public involvement (going beyond the usual public attitudes surveys) to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the ethical and legal issues involved in the use and sharing of NHS patient data for research. Read more.
- An international collaboration looking at how public involvement might be included in governance arrangements for large scale biomedical research projects. Read more.
- Priority setting, and the allocation of resources in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.
Partnerships for Health, Wealth and Innovation (PHWI) additionally seeks to strengthen dimensions of the BRC’s partnerships as follows:
Partnerships with patients and members of the public to ensure relevance and accountability
The BRC aims to ensure that its research addresses patients’ priorities and is a good use of public funds. The PHWI steering group will be chaired by a member of the community and include strong representation from patients. We will support all BRC themes to value the patient’s perspective; to integrate patient involvement and public engagement into all aspects of their research activity; to measure their success and to improve their performance year-on-year.
If you are a researcher looking for PPI advice or resources, please visit the page PPI Resources for Researchers.
Partnerships with industry to maximise opportunities for innovation
Oxfordshire’s medical and life sciences sector brings together over 5,000 researchers, 500 medical technology companies and an outstanding track record of biotechnology and life sciences innovation. We aim to strengthen and support these public–private partnerships, in order to keep Oxford at the leading edge of biomedical innovation in 2017–22.
Partnerships across the BRC research themes to ensure programme-wide learning
The BRC has 16 different clinical themes, organised into four clusters, and four cross-cutting themes. In large and complex research structures such as this, there is a danger that individual research teams could become isolated and lose the sense of shared endeavour. By drawing out common challenges and emerging patterns across the BRC, we will provide a sense of coherence and generate knowledge that supports and improves the effectiveness of the BRC as a whole.
Partnerships with clinical services to ensure research discoveries are rapidly implemented into practice
Historically, there has been an unacceptable delay between doing academic research and implementing the findings in a way that benefits patients. We know that when research ideas come directly from front-line clinical practice and scientists working closely with clinicians to design and undertake research studies, this “bench to bedside translational gap” can be bridged more effectively. By working on knowledge translation and implementation science we aim to help get research discoveries rapidly into practice.
Partnerships with policymakers to shape the future of health services and health research
One of the BRC’s long-term goals is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of health services; another is to inform local, national and international policy on life sciences, technology, healthcare and scientific research. The work of the Oxford BRC has implications, for example for the national organisation of clinical services and clinical practice guidelines; for regulatory processes for drugs and medical devices; and for the conduct and governance of clinical trials and big data research. We will draw on Oxford’s existing links to local and national policymakers and to international bodies in science and healthcare.
Partnerships across different scientific disciplines to develop new avenues of research
The BRC provides exciting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations between biomedical scientists and academics from complementary fields including statistics, economics, computer science, business studies, and the humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary research enables large and ambitious projects, for example, multi-centre clinical trials or big data analytics. It also allows this theme to do research on research by asking over-arching questions about how to optimise the research process, improve the governance and ethics of research, train and support young researchers, work with industry and government, and implement the findings of research in clinical practice.
The PHWI cross-cutting theme includes input from the following groups:
- BRC Patient and Public Involvement (oxfordbrc.nihr.ac.uk/ppi)
- Oxford Medical Sciences Division Business Development Team (medsci.ox.ac.uk/support-services/teams/business-development)
- The Centre for Medicines Discovery (https://www.cmd.ox.ac.uk/research/brc-translational-science-team)
- Oxford Healthtech Labs (oxhealthtechlabs.org)
- Oxford Centre for Statistics in Medicine (csm.ox.ac.uk/team)
- Oxford Health Economics Research Centre (herc.ox.ac.uk)
- Oxford BRC Ethics (ndph.ox.ac.uk/team/mark-sheehan)
- Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School (oucags.ox.ac.uk)
- Oxford Health Experiences Research Group (phc.ox.ac.uk/research/health-experiences)
- Oxford Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences (phc.ox.ac.uk/research/interdisciplinary-research-in-health-sciences)