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Vol 40  No 5
November 1, 2007


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Applied health research database launch

Collaborating online

Memorial’s Centre for Applied Health Research is seeking to gain an overview of the range of provincial expertise in applied health research. NLCAHR is launching an online Applied Health Research (AHR) Inventory today. The inventory is an electronic database that will contain information submitted by researchers about their expertise, interests and research activities.

The database will be searchable, providing a view of who is working on what topics in the province, what the strengths are, and where the gaps are located.

Pablo Navarro is a research officer with NLCAHR and coordinator of the inventory. He said the website will facilitate making connections among researchers, as well as between researchers and those who might need their expertise or want to fund their work.

“Let’s say that the Department of Health wants to find some information on how to reduce obesity,” explained Mr. Navarro. “And the department wants to have a team of researchers who are local ... to study certain research questions that they need for policy. They can go into a database like this and find out who’s around, who is active and who has expertise, and put together a research team.”

That’s just one way it can be used, he said. The inventory will help guide the creation of peer-review committees to assess grant competitions, help researchers from away build partnerships with provincial experts, and be available for community groups seeking research support. The initial target group for the inventory is university-based researchers and graduate students working in the area of applied health research (research about human health other than basic biomedical research).

“Right now our main target is the people who are actively conducting research, mostly professors, people with doctorates, post-docs who are involved with research in the province, as well as graduate students,” Mr. Navarro said. After a year, the inventory will be expanded to include other health research stakeholders. The database relies on user-input for its information.

“Like Facebook for researchers,” said Mr. Navarro, who added that the forms have been made as short and as user-friendly as possible. “We don’t want this to be an onerous task.”

In the next few weeks, NLCAHR will be contacting the research community by e-mail to invite people to join the inventory. The AHR Inventory will be located at www.nlcahr.mun.ca/survey/.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research was established in September 1999 with a mission to contribute to the effectiveness of the health and community services system of Newfoundland and Labrador and to the physical, social, and psychological health and wellbeing of the province’s population by supporting the development and the use of applied health research in this province.

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