Embedded researchers' purpose and practice: Current perspectives from Australia

Sharon Mickan*, Dominiek Coates

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: The embedded researcher model proposes that if research is co-produced with academics, clinical staff will have greater engagement with and ownership of the research findings, and they will be able to integrate evidence in practice. This paper describes the role and purpose of embedded researchers in Australian healthcare settings. 

Methods: A purposive sample of current and former embedded researchers were invited to participate in an exploratory online survey. Embedded researchers were defined as individuals with research qualifications who worked, or had worked, for at least 30% of their time in a healthcare organisation doing research or research capacity building. 

Results: Most embedded researchers described a dual purpose, in building clinicians' capacity for research while also undertaking clinical research. Only a small proportion of respondents described their purpose as supporting and improving clinical practice. Most embedded researchers described working to both traditional academic key performance indicators and a complementary range of clinical performance and healthcare service indicators. 

Conclusion: Embedded researchers provide more research development and engagement in health services than is recognised or currently reported. In addition to traditional academic indicators, they described a broad range of clinical and health service indicators which measured capacity building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Issue number1
Early online date6 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


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