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Table 4 Themes identified by stakeholders as important for informing recommendations and implementation

From: A systems approach to the exploration of research activity and relationships within a local authority

Themes Factors Potential next steps
Build on existing strengths, resources and good practice Capitalize on (i) new and ongoing collaborations, (ii) existing collaboration platform, (iii) recent COVID-19 work that has helped unlock benefits of sharing knowledge and skills across organizations Explore ways to share skills, resources and good practice
Link stakeholders internally
Move from ad hoc to more systematic and embedded relationships and research arrangements
Celebrate and share successes
Training and building capacity for research Focus on (i) working across departments and with universities; (ii) using and extending existing models currently operating within some departments Identifying and implementing a range of training models, e.g. secondments, apprenticeships, champions, internships, professional development programmes
Engaging staff with responsibilities for promoting and facilitating research and partnerships
Strengthening networks across departments and with external partners (i) Balancing Council needs for knowledge that cannot be met internally with what works for a university, educationally, professionally and financially
(ii) Moving from informal connections and isolated projects to systemized and enduring relationships and activities
(iii) Increasing requirements for universities to show impact offers opportunities for applied research
Build relationships and identify mutual benefits
Develop a framework to facilitate research, collaboration and capacity-building
Develop a knowledge hub to facilitate sharing or knowledge and resources
Alignment of research activities with the strategic short-, medium- and longer-term needs (i) Interest in exploring key issues the County faces, and potential for innovative projects and joined-up thinking that could draw on non-typical resources to find interventions to address these needs
(ii) Coproduction is increasingly valued and required
Identify a handful of projects that can be used to help formulate a structured approach to identify short-, medium- and long-term research priorities for the Council