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  • Author or Editor: Martin Marshall x
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‘Embedded research’ (co-locating researchers within non-academic organisations) is advocated as a way of developing more effective services through better creation and application of knowledge.

Aims and objectives:

The existing literature on embedded initiatives has largely been descriptive. There has been less in the way of analysis, for example, disaggregating the components of such schemes, unpacking underpinning logics, or comparing the diverse ways in which schemes are instantiated. We aimed to explore the nature and organisation of such schemes in health settings in the UK, with the objective of providing a systematised means of understanding their makeup.


This study uses a focused literature review combined with a systematic scoping exercise of extant initiatives. We assembled documentation on each scheme (n=45) and conducted in-depth interviews in twelve of them (n=17). Analytically, we focused on surfacing and articulating the key features of embedded research initiatives in relation to their intent, structure and processes. Findings were then tested and validated during a co-production workshop with embedded researchers and their managers.


We identified 26 ‘clusters’ of peer-reviewed papers detailing specific embedded research initiatives, and we explored 45 extant initiatives. The initiatives were varied in intent, structure and processes, but we were able to surface ten themes representing common features: intended outcomes, power dynamics, scale, involvement, proximity, belonging, functional activities, skill and expertise, relational roles, and learning and reflection.

Discussion and conclusion:

The themes uncovered can be used as a framework for guiding further systematic and evaluative enquiry on embedded research initiatives.

Open access


Embedded research involves co-locating researchers within non-academic organisations to better link research and practice. Embedded research initiatives are often complex and emergent with a range of underlying intents, structures and processes. This can create tensions within initiatives and contributes to ongoing uncertainty about the most suitable designs and the effectiveness of different approaches.

Aims and objectives:

We aimed to devise a practical framework to support those designing and cultivating embedded research by operationalising findings from an extensive study of existing initiatives.

Key conclusions:

The underpinning research on embedded initiatives – a literature review and scoping exercise of initiatives in health settings across the UK – showed that such initiatives share ten common sets of concerns in relation to their intent, structure and processes. We used these insights during a co-production workshop with embedded researchers and their managers that made use of a range of creative activities.

The workshop resulted in a practical framework (and associated web-based tools) that draw on the metaphor of a garden to represent the growing, emergent nature of embedded research initiatives and the active work which individuals and organisations need to put into planning and maintaining such initiatives. Each of the aspects is represented as a separate area within the garden using relevant visual metaphors. Building on this, we also present a series of reflective questions designed to facilitate discussion and debate about design features, and we link these to the wider literature, thereby helping those involved to articulate and discuss their preferences and expectations.

Open access

Worldwide, policymakers, health system managers, practitioners and researchers struggle to use evidence to improve policy and practice. There is growing recognition that this challenge relates to the complex systems in which we work. The corresponding increase in complexity-related discourse remains primarily at a theoretical level. This paper moves the discussion to a practical level, proposing actions that can be taken to implement evidence successfully in complex systems. Key to success is working with, rather than trying to simplify or control, complexity. The integrated actions relate to co-producing knowledge, establishing shared goals and measures, enabling leadership, ensuring adequate resourcing, contributing to the science of knowledge-to-action, and communicating strategically.

Open access

This chapter discusses the domestic kitchen in the lives of older people whose ages range across four decades and who were born between 1919 and 1948. They were living in various types of housing from detached to terraced; from maisonette to flat; from mainstream to supportive. By looking at past experiences of the kitchen across the life course gendered and generational differences are seen that contribute to kitchen living in the 21st century. Examining use of the most recent kitchen shows how biopsychosocial factors come together with design and on-going adaptation being both enabling and disabling. The kitchen is seen as a mainstay of the home environment and in later life central to maintaining personal autonomy

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