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30 May 2019

The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) is changing the assessment of impact for Project and Programme applications submitted through the Rangahau Hauora Māori (RHM) research investment stream. These changes will apply to the Expression of Interest (EOI) and full application stages of the 2020 Project and Programme rounds.

These changes are intended to align the assessment of impact for RHM Project and Programme applications with the revised process introduced in 2018 for applications submitted through the Health and Wellbeing in New Zealand (HW) and Improving Outcomes for Acute and Chronic Conditions (IOACC) research investment streams. Importantly, the focus on impact against the six goals of the RHM investment signal remains.

Applicants are encouraged to consider all potential ways in which their proposal can add value for New Zealand, and what actions within their influence can help achieve this potential. As a key expectation from the Government, it is critical for the HRC to show benefit to New Zealand from our research investment. By asking applicants to think about impact from the earliest stages of planning their research, we aim to increase the collective benefits and impacts from the entire portfolio of research we fund.

The changes for the 2020 RHM Project and Programme rounds are as follows:

  • Alignment of impact assessment with applications in the HW and IOACC research investment streams. This will allow applicants to consider the broader potential benefits of their research to Māori and New Zealand, and what actions within their influence can help achieve this potential.
  • Simplification of the EOI and full application forms. In previous rounds, applicants to the RHM research investment stream were required to address ‘Research Impact’ and ‘Research Impact Fit with Investment Stream Goals’ in two separate sections. These two sections have now been consolidated into one section titled ‘Research Impact’, which should provide clearer guidance to applicants and reduce repetition in applications.
  • Improved guidance on the key components needed in the ‘Research Impact’ section. Applicants will be required to address two questions: 1) a description of how the applicants’ research might be used and the anticipated benefits for Māori and New Zealand; 2) an action plan to address all six goals of the RHM investment signal to maximise the use and benefits of the research.

Incorporation of the six goals of the RHM investment signal into the action plan mentioned above. Specifically, applicants to the RHM Project and Programme rounds will be required to specify how their proposed research will:

- Contribute to the creation of Māori health knowledge
- Contribute to the translatin of findings into Māori health gains
- Incorporate Māori health research processes
- Incorporate Māori ethics processes
- Contribute to building a highly skilled Māori health research workforce
- Respond to the needs of, and work in partnership with, Māori stakeholders and communities.

*The six goals listed above are unchanged from previous RHM rounds and are detailed in the RHM investment signal.

  • External peer reviewers to provide written assessment of prospective research impact. Previously, external peer reviewers assessed ‘health significance’.

The 2020 Projects page contains RHM application forms and guidelines, which detail the updated research impact questions for applications submitted through the RHM research investment stream.

Further information for applicants about the HRC’s revised approach to impact assessment can be found on the HRC website.