Refining medical research methods for better results
Billions of euros are wasted ever year on research that is redundant, flawed, never published or poorly reported. The EU-funded project MIROR aims to reduce this waste and ensure money invested in medical research is well spent on achieving results that matter to people.
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EU citizens are the main victims when investment in research misses its target, both in terms of wasted public funds and missed opportunities for innovation in areas such as health and well-being.
The MIROR project is focusing on boosting the quality of medical research and ensuring the results are relevant to the needs of patients. The project will train 15 early stage researchers in research on research methodology to determine best practices to follow for better study methods, design and delivery.
The project team seeks to significantly improve future clinical trials and results, impact on patient care, accountability and research excellence in Europe, while reducing wasted investment.
The training will focus on the best procedures to follow in planning, conducting, reporting and attaining peer reviews, different types of study design (observational, randomised or systematic reviews), and the sorts of study questions that should be asked (therapeutic, diagnostic and prognostic evaluation).
The project will push the researchers to consider all research options, including some that have not been attempted previously. They are being asked to take advantage of a broad range of expertise and to consider cultural diversity in a study set-up.
MIROR will also teach Fellows how to ensure their activities can progress from research to action, and how they can convert knowledge and ideas into products. The project team will also them to develop the skills to match public and private sector needs, leading to new professional opportunities for them in both clinical research and industry.
MIROR is using a number of networking tools to strengthen the exchange of ideas between the fellows, including a journal club where published researchers are able to discuss their results with others.
One of the projects innovations is to employ a research speed dating technique, whereby each researcher has five minutes to explain their project to another researcher, who then provides feedback.
MIRORs lessons are also available to anyone online, as webinars and video tutorials.