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Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety

What is RCQPS?

The Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety (RCQPS) is a collaborative initiative between the Health Research Board, the Health Service Executive, National Quality Improvement Team and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. It was established in 2013 to advance nationally relevant research in the area of quality and patient safety (QPS).

The model used for this scheme involves collaboration between knowledge users and academic researchers. Those interested in partaking in QPS research are encouraged to register onto the RCQPS Database. The database will be circulated to support and enhance collaboration on research proposals.

The duration of awards is between 3 and 12 months and research findings from awards need to have a strong potential to be implemented in the Irish health and social care system during and after the end of the grant. Funding available is up to €140,000 per project including overheads contribution.

Since its inception, nine awards (and one pilot study) have been funded, amassing to an approximate €2.8 million investment in healthcare research. RCPI manage the application and peer review process and the HRB manage funded projects. 

In April 2019, RCQPS pledged a further €1.6 million to quality and patient safety research over the next three years.

COVID-19 Pandemic Funding Opportunity now open - Apply by 17 July 2020

On 29 June 2020 the Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety (RCQPS) launched a funding opportunity to support Ireland's research response into the virus outbreak.

The COVID-19 crisis has meant health and social care systems have had to rapidly adapt and put new processes and procedures in place for patients and all healthcare-related workers. There is a unique opportunity to learn from these adaptations and to improve the quality of approaches throughout and beyond this pandemic.

The funding process will proceed quickly. It is expected that successful projects will begin in early October 2020, and that project staff will mostly be redeployed rather than specifically recruited. Host institutions are required to treat awards arising from the call with utmost urgency.

To apply, please download the application form and guidance notes below. 

The deadline for applications is 17 July 2020. Proposals should be sent electronically to RCQPS at rcqps@rcpi.ie no later than 1 pm.

What kind of projects will be funded?

Research proposals are invited under the following COVID-19 specific Quality and Patient Safety themes:

  • Virtual learning during the COVID-19 response; how can virtual modes of delivery of training and education best serve the needs of the Healthcare Workforce in the future?
  • The use of quality improvement methodologies to test or re-engineer clinical processes during the COVID-19 Pandemic response
  • Sustaining improved ways of working and methods of healthcare delivery developed the during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Residents, families, and staff experiences in residential long-term care settings of new ways of delivering care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

RCQPS COVID-19 Application Form (doc)

Only one application per Lead Applicant to this scheme will be considered

The submission deadline for applications is 17 July 2020. Proposals should be sent electronically to RCQPS at rcqps@rcpi.ie no later than 1 pm. It is the responsibility of all applicants to ensure that all sections of the application form are completed appropriately. Expedited timelines apply throughout the process.

RCQPS COVID-19 Guidance Notes 2020 (pdf)

Please consult the guidance notes when completing your application form.

Host Institute Signature Page (doc)

A completed Host Institute signature page must be included with your application. Due to COVID-19 electronic or typed signatures are acceptable in this instance.

Lead Applicants Signature Page (doc)

A completed Lead Applicants signature page must be included with your application. Due to COVID-19 electronic or typed signatures are acceptable in this instance.

RCQPS Collaboration Agreement Form (doc)

To expedite the process, Collaboration Agreement Forms from each official collaborator will be requested during contracting and not as part of the application. Forms will be made available during the process and given a very tight timeline for contact negotiation it is recommended that Lead Applicants collate these documents as soon as possible.

“This is a huge opportunity to immediately improve the quality of patient care.”

Dr Philip Crowley

Director of National Quality Improvement Team, Health Service Executive
A

On average it takes 17 years for health research to translate into clinical practice. Translation of research into patient benefit more rapidly is a policy priority of the Irish healthcare system. In order to aid this process of knowledge translation the RCQPS issue calls for research proposals from a team comprising experienced researchers and those at the forefront of healthcare services and policy-making (termed knowledge users) to address nationally relevant research in the area of quality and patient safety.  This collaborative model has been proposed as the most likely to ensure that research findings are relevant and responsive and can influence decision making in the health and social care system.

A We want to fund projects in the area of quality and patient safety. We want to drive improvements in healthcare quality and patient safety through research. We are working towards this by:
  1. Developing an Irish research network focused on quality in healthcare and patient safety
  2. Bringing researchers and individuals involved in healthcare improvement, health policy and/or the delivery of services together to identify specific research questions that will improve patient care
  3. Prioritising research questions and allocating funding accordingly.
A

In 2019, for Cycle 6 RCQPS introduced themes of national priority in the area of QPS under which applicants focused their proposed research. The overarching theme for 2019 was Quality Improvement. 

In 2020, for Cycle 7 RCQPS COVID-19 call is inviting applications under the following COVID-19 specific QPS themes:

  • Virtual learning during the COVID-19 response; how can virtual modes of delivery of training and education best serve the needs of the Healthcare Workforce in the future?
  • The use of quality improvement methodologies to test or re-engineer clinical processes during the COVID-19 Pandemic response.
  • Sustaining improved ways of working and methods of healthcare delivery developed during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Residents, families, and staff experiences in residential long-term care settings of new ways of delivering care during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A

RCQPS awards typically provide funding up to a maximum award value of €280,000 (inclusive of overheads) for projects. 

However, in 2020 for the RCQPS COVID-19 Call, funding available is up to €140,000 per project including overheads contribution. 

A Typically, up to 24 months. However, for the 2020 RCQPS COVID-19 Call, the duration of awards is between 3 and 12 months and research findings from awards need to have a strong potential to be implemented in the Irish health and social care system during and after the end of the grant.
A

Since the RCQPS Scheme was introduced in 2013, nine projects have been awarded funding, including an initial pilot study .

For more information on individual awards please visit the HRB RCQPS Webpage.

A

Applications should be made on behalf of a team which is made up of academic researchers and knowledge users (people in positions of authority to influence and/or make decisions about health policy or the delivery of services and can act to ensure that the findings of the research will be translated to influence decision making and change within their (or other) organisations). The applicant team should designate a Lead Applicant from the research team and the knowledge user team. Research findings will have a direct impact on decision-making in the knowledge user organisation and it must be clear how the knowledge user will be integrated throughout the project. Researchers should be at mid-stage or senior stage in their career. Experience in patient-orientated and clinical research, population health research and/or health services research is essential.

 

Only one application per Lead Applicant to this scheme will be considered

A

Academic researchers and knowledge users interested in partaking in quality and patient safety research are encouraged to register onto the RCQPS Database 

Once a call is approved by the HRB Board, all those registered on the RCQPS Database will be contacted with information regarding applying for funding. 

A Typical RCQPS Application Process:
  1. Academic researchers and knowledge users interested in partaking in quality and patient safety register their areas of research interest and expertise on the RCQPS Database.
  2. Each Cycle begins with a Launch Event (Cycle 7 Launch Event yet to be announced). This event will be a networking opportunity for researchers and knowledge users for the new funding cycle. Research findings will have a direct impact on decision-making in the knowledge user organisation.
  3. Academic researchers and knowledge users that wish to collaborate on a research proposal submit a joint pre-application to RCQPS.
  4. Pre-applications are reviewed by a pre-application grant selection panel.
  5. Shortlisted pre-applications are invited to submit a full application to RCQPS. Feedback is given to all applicants.
  6. Full applications undergo a two-stage review process including international peer review and review by a full application grant selection panel. Please note that applicants will have a right to respond to any issues or queries raised by international reviewers prior to applications being reviewed by the full application grant selection panel.
  7. Following review, two applications are recommended to the HRB for funding.
  8. Applicants are informed of the funding outcome by the RCQPS Research Coordinator.
Expedited RCPQS COVID-19 Application Process: The RCQPS are committed to an open and competitive process underpinned by stringent review. To expedite the process the review will be completed in a four-step process.
  1. Applications will be initially checked for eligibility by the RCQPS co-ordinator. Each application will then be reviewed by the RCQPS Joint Executive Committee (representative from each member of the collaborative) to determine whether the proposed project meets the scope of the call and falls within the specific COVID-19 related QPS themes identified. The chair of the COVID-19 RCQPS panel will be consulted to confirm the recommendations of the RCQPS Joint Executive Committee.
  2. An expert panel with national and international members will be convened covering knowledge of the Irish health and social care systems, QPS expertise, and knowledge translation and PPI representatives. This panel will then review each eligible application taking into consideration the strengths and weaknesses of the application relating to the review criteria detailed below. Following this, applicants will be given the opportunity to respond to queries or issues identified (4 working days).
  3. The panel convenes virtually to discuss the applications in light of the applicant’s response to the initial review. The reviewers will assess all applications based on the review criteria detailed below and will make a recommendation to the RCQPS at the end of the meeting. Successful applications will be expected to rate highly on both assessment criteria before being recommended for funding.
  4. Finally, the Board of the HRB will approve the funding recommendation.
 
A

We owe it to patients to allocate funding responsibly and ensure the maximum positive health impact. Each research application is carefully assessed and scored by grant selection panels composed of experts from the scientific community including quality improvement and patient safety, with experience working on collaborative projects with clinician leadership and health services management for knowledge exchange activities. 

We consider both scientific and knowledge translation criteria with equal weighting:

Scientific criteria (50% weighting)

  • Does the project address a Quality and Patient Safety priority in Ireland relevant to the identified themes for this call?
  • Will the research design and methodology answer the research question?
  • Is there evidence that the Collaborators (knowledge users, researchers and PPI contributors) have developed a genuine partnership to deliver on the proposed project?
  • Is there an appropriate project plan and risk mitigation?

Knowledge translation criterion (50% weighting)

  • Is there real potential for translation of the findings into policy and/or practice?

‘Quality and patient safety are a key priority for health service delivery. This partnership approach helps ensure we ask the right research questions to develop evidence informed solutions to real health system challenges that improve people’s health and health care delivery’.

Dr Darrin Morrissey

Chief Executive at the Health Research Board

Contact us

RCQPS research coordinator at rcqps@rcpi.ie