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Open AccessArticle

Establishing a Multicentre Clinical Research Network: Lessons Learned

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Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Alberta Health Services Cancer Care, Calgary, AB T2N 4N2, Canada
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Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
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Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
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Division of Palliative Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
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London Regional Cancer Program, Clinical Neurological Sciences and Oncology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada
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Division of Palliative Care, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
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Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Curr. Oncol. 2011, 18(5), 243-249; https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v18i5.814
Received: 1 July 2011 / Revised: 2 August 2011 / Accepted: 3 September 2011 / Published: 1 October 2011
Background: Within many health care disciplines, research networks have emerged to connect researchers who are physically separated, to facilitate sharing of expertise and resources, and to exchange valuable skills. A multicentre research network committed to studying difficult cancer pain problems was launched in 2004 as part of a Canadian initiative to increase palliative and end-of-life care research capacity. Funding was received for 5 years to support network activities. Methods: Mid-way through the 5-year granting period, an external review panel provided a formal mid-grant evaluation. Concurrently, an internal evaluation of the network by survey of its members was conducted. Based on feedback from both evaluations and on a review of the literature, we identified several components believed to be relevant to the development of a successful clinical cancer research network. Results: These common elements of successful clinical cancer research networks were identified: shared vision, formal governance policies and terms of reference, infrastructure support, regular and effective communication, an accountability framework, a succession planning strategy to address membership change over time, multiple strategies to engage network members, regular review of goals and timelines, and a balance between structure and creativity. Conclusions: In establishing and conducting a multi-year, multicentre clinical cancer research network, network members were led to reflect on the factors that contributed most to the achievement of network goals. Several specific factors were identified that seemed to be highly relevant in promoting success. These observations are presented to foster further discussion on the successful design and operation of research networks.
Keywords: Clinical cancer research; research network; multicentre; network evaluation; collaboration Clinical cancer research; research network; multicentre; network evaluation; collaboration
MDPI and ACS Style

Hagen, N.A.; Stiles, C.R.; Biondo, P.D.; Cummings, G.G.; Fainsinger, R.L.; Moulin, D.E.; Pereira, J.L.; Spice, R. Establishing a Multicentre Clinical Research Network: Lessons Learned. Curr. Oncol. 2011, 18, 243-249. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v18i5.814

AMA Style

Hagen NA, Stiles CR, Biondo PD, Cummings GG, Fainsinger RL, Moulin DE, Pereira JL, Spice R. Establishing a Multicentre Clinical Research Network: Lessons Learned. Current Oncology. 2011; 18(5):243-249. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v18i5.814

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hagen, N.A.; Stiles, C.R.; Biondo, P.D.; Cummings, G.G.; Fainsinger, R.L.; Moulin, D.E.; Pereira, J.L.; Spice, R. 2011. "Establishing a Multicentre Clinical Research Network: Lessons Learned" Curr. Oncol. 18, no. 5: 243-249. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.v18i5.814

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