Governance and funding best practices for embedded research programs

Healthc (Amst). 2021 Jun;8 Suppl 1:100433. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2020.100433. Epub 2020 Jun 17.


Health systems are increasingly embracing embedded research (ER) program models that allow researchers to integrate into operational and clinical practices. Successful ER programs rely on unique funding streams and bidirectional relationships with health system operational and executive leaders. This commentary summarizes current practices and recommendations for funding and governing ER programs. Three funding best practices are recommended: a mixed portfolio of short-term and long-term projects funded through a combination of internal and external sources; leveraging the community benefit requirement of non-profit hospitals and forming connections in the development office; and a research and implementation franchise model. Governance best practices include a strong relationship between researchers, operational and executive leaders and an external advisory committee to ensure that research topics are relevant to the needs of patients, the health system, and other stakeholders. These recommended best practices can help lay the foundation for early attempts to identify shared challenges and successes as health systems establish new ER programs and existing programs continue to mature.

Keywords: Embedded research; Governance; Health services research; Learning healthcare system.

MeSH terms

  • Government Programs*
  • Humans
  • Research Personnel*