8. Next Steps

Establishing an AHRQ Learning Collaborative

A meeting to discuss this white paper and develop next steps for creating this AHRQ Learning Collaborative was convened on June 11, 2011, as part of the Annual NRSA Program Directors Meeting. Feedback from that meeting was incorporated into this white paper and will guide the next steps for establishing an AHRQ Learning Collaborative. The following are concrete suggestions for moving forward with the AHRQ Learning Collaborative:

  • Brand the AHRQ Learning Collaborative with a name and a catchphrase that is memorable or appealing. For example: "SpAHRQ: Training the Next Generation of Health Services Researchers." Individual T32 programs could be referred to as "SpAHRQ Plugs" because they are individually necessary but only collectively sufficient for powering the health services research engine:
    • Solicit trainees' thoughts on a name and catchphrase. The thinking behind the name and catchphrase would have to be explained briefly and immediately clear to others.
  • Develop an explicit mission or charter.
  • Develop clear objectives and/or goals. These can be selected from this white paper and be field-tested for relevance among AHRQ program directors and trainees.
  • Develop routine activities. For example, a periodic check-in call or webinar on training program issues where trainees are the prime participants. Program directors, alongside AHRQ personnel, could take turns hosting the call/webinar. Another potential activity would be to publish a brief periodic letter about the AHRQ T32s, with program highlights and opportunities for collaboration. Finally, trainees could be "invited" into other programs' classrooms.
  • Collate a list of current (as of the 2010-2011 academic year) AHRQ T32 trainees (pre- and postdoctoral) that includes research interests, current project work (intra- and inter- institutional), leisure interests (to integrate a more informal component), and contact information:
    • "Research interests" could be specific or more general. Also, information that may supplement research interests may include: area(s) of expertise, research methodologies of interest, statistical methodologies of interest, and theories of interest (and discipline in which they are housed).
    • Another option for this listing (or a complementary action) is to create a searchable database of trainees (similar to academic institutions' online directories).
    • The list/directory could be extended to alums, and a particular effort might be made to reach out to recent alums (i.e., those one 1-2 years out).
  • Establish "Career Ladder" interest groups (again, with a memorable name) for trainees heading towards a postdoctoral degree and/or academia v. private sector v. government v. think tank, etc.
  • One possible way to capture the attention of trainees might be to title these groups using their words. For example, "Major Players in... [various sectors]"
  • Collate curricula and include them in a searchable database. Curricula could also be mapped onto the core HSR competencies to highlight where opportunities for improvement exist and/or to allow programs to highlight specifically (and uniquely) how they are ensuring training in the core HSR competencies. Appendix G provides links to some existing health services research resources.
  • Identify brokers within AHRQ T32s (e.g., directors, faculty, and trainees who create buy-in for working collaboratively across T32s):
    • Brokers could begin with the questions identified in the "Engagement and Evaluation" pieces of the recommendations and report back (perhaps during the periodic check-in call and/or webinar as part of the routine activities).
Page last reviewed October 2012
Internet Citation: 8. Next Steps: Establishing an AHRQ Learning Collaborative. October 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/final-reports/learningcollab/learning8.html