Date: 13 February 2019
The NIHR has appointed Adam Kamenetzky into the new role of in-house Senior Research Fellow, to explore questions of NIHR’s impact and wider value to society, and develop staff capabilities.
Adam, a senior social scientist, joins the NIHR Central Commissioning Facility (CCF) following a two-year secondment from the Policy Institute at King’s College London as NIHR’s first researcher-in-residence. His research into public funders’ strategies to orient research to impact, and embed systematic approaches to research evaluation, has informed the setup of this role.
Adam’s work with the NIHR will focus on applying social research methods to help the organisation and its staff understand, support and evidence the wider impacts of its more than £1 billion annual investment in UK health and social care research.
This will build on his portfolio of original research, commissioned studies, co-designed workshops, training activities and communications designed to help research funding organisations answer questions on the ‘science of science’, research policy, and impact and its assessment.
Adam said: “I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with staff across NIHR’s coordinating centres and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) these past two years, as well as colleagues in academia and health and care practice: all of whom are keen to take a holistic view of how research contributes to processes of real-world change.
“This role is an exciting opportunity to help NIHR ask timely and relevant questions concerning the ultimate value of the work it supports. It also provides a chance to broaden the conversation around impact, which can seem dominated by researchers and their respective funders. I’m looking forward to supporting NIHR’s efforts to engage widely on that front.”
The role builds on a programme of collaborative work to build NIHR’s capabilities to undertake ‘research on research’ and ongoing linked activities. These range from staff training and workshops with research applicants and NIHR programme teams to explore how NIHR adds value in different contexts, to formal evaluative studies to understand how NIHR’s activities bring about meaningful changes to diverse stakeholder groups. The NIHR has recently established an independent Impact Board to provide expert guidance in this area.
Beth Allen, Senior Manager: Impact, Intelligence, Engagement and PPIE at DHSC, said: “The NIHR is championing efforts to widen the dialogue around impact, particularly to include the voices of patients and practitioners. Our efforts to ensure value from the research we fund have been internationally recognised. It is equally important that we learn from emerging funder practices on impact, and apply these into NIHR’s unique settings.
“Through roles like this, the NIHR is embedding a means within its coordinating centres to reflect on and share its experiences, as we build a community of practice to encourage and evidence the societal impacts of the vital health and social care research we support.”
Adam will be based primarily in the NIHR CCF office in Twickenham, London, and can be contacted via email.
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