Embedded research initiatives – where health services researchers are physically located within health service organisations – can come in a variety of shapes and forms. Although they often change and grow over time, there are many things that can be planned and designed at the outset. This illustration shows 10 key areas in which an embedded research initiative can be planned and cultivated. These areas, or themes, are grouped into:
intent - covering intended outcomes and power dynamics
structures - covering scale, involvement, proximity and belonging
processes - covering functional activities, researcher skills and expertise, learning mechanisms, and relational role.
These themes underpin embedded research initiatives and were developed from a review of the embedded research literature, information from embedded research initiatives in the UK and interviews with people involved in them. Scroll over the image for a description of each theme and click through for further details.
This resource was developed by the Embedded team in collaboration with embedded researchers and their colleagues and the Lab4Living team at Sheffield Hallam University. Design and illustration are by Chris Redford.
The Embedded Research project is funded by the Health Services and Delivery Research Programme of the National Institute for Health Research.