The aim of Better Methods, Better Research is to ensure optimal research methods are being used to advance biomedical, health and care focused research, policy and delivery. Funding is available for research that develops and delivers ways to improve the research methods being used by others.
The MRC-NIHR Better Methods, Better Research (BMBR) panel is a partnership, co-funded by MRC and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research.
MRC supports methodology development through a variety of mechanisms:
- within broader research proposals considered by our boards and panels
- within units and institutes
- through the MRC-NIHR BMBR panel.
BMBR aims to improve efficiency, quality and impact across the entire spectrum of biomedical and health-related research within the MRC and NIHR remit. The programme supports methodology research that will improve the methods used by others.
Methodology research maximises benefits for researchers, patients and the general population. It also ensures health research and policy are built on the best possible evidence.
To fulfil these aims, methodology development or improvement supported by BMBR must:
- underpin an evidenced research need within the MRC or NIHR remit
- be able to be generalised beyond a single case study
- demonstrate early engagement with a broad range of end users for developed methodology
- improve best practice, and evidence a pathway to implementation and sustainable impact
- demonstrate awareness of current gaps in the translation of methodological research.
To achieve its objectives, BMBR works with stakeholder organisations to identify current and emerging methodological needs, and to ensure the methodologies developed are taken up by others and add value to research.
Standing partners providing input into the programme include:
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
- Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
- Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW)
- Chief Scientist Office, Scotland (CSO)
- Health and Social Care, Northern Ireland (HSCNI).
Additional stakeholders are consulted as required to support emerging priority areas (for example, the National Advisory Group on Clinical Audit and Enquiries).