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Bill Trochim & Arthur Blank on The Role of Translational Research Evaluation

Hello! We are Bill Trochim, of Cornell University, and Arthur Blank, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. We are the Chair and Program Chair, respectively of the Translational Research Evaluation (TRE) topical interest group.

There is a growing recognition in many fields that the problems associated with the translation of research to practice are among the most important and costly of our modern era and that our society needs to address these issues. Many U.S. federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been mounting a variety of efforts to enhance research translation and address major translational barriers. For instance, in 2006 the NIH started the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), one of the largest programs at the NIH. Administered by the newly formed National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), the CTSAs now encompass a network of 62 “hub” organizations (academic medical centers, medical schools, community organizations, etc.) in a national research-practice network.

In the past year a variety of AEA members joined together to start the Translational Research Evaluation (TRE) Topical Interest Group. The purpose of the TIG is to provide a community for all evaluators interested in the evaluation of translational research initiatives to enable them to share the specific and unique challenges they face in this evaluative endeavor. The TIG provides a forum for addressing all aspects of evaluation related to clinical and translational sciences including (but not limited to) education, frameworks and models, innovative applications, novel methods, data collection techniques and research designs. This TIG will offer its members – evaluators, practitioners, program managers and other stakeholders – an opportunity to share mutual interests, evaluation expertise, resources and materials. The over-arching goal of the TIG is to explore current, state-of-the-art evaluation approaches and applications, foster communication among TR evaluators and provide opportunities to discuss existing and emerging techniques to evaluate translational research efforts. Furthermore, this TIG will encourage its members to identify and disseminate successful strategies to overcome challenges associated with translational research evaluation.

Rad Resource: The TR TIG welcome professionals and evaluators looking to connect practice with research. Check out our TIG page and see if you’d like to become a member. We also look forward to seeing you at our TIG-sponsored sessions at Evaluation 2015 in Chicago!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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