Centre for Capacity Research

Advancing the science of capacity strengthening for sustainable development

Centre for Capacity Research

Professor Imelda Bates, Head Centre for Capacity Research

The Centre for Capacity Research specialises in the science of research capacity strengthening – a process of individual and institutional development leading to higher levels of skills and greater ability to perform useful research. The centre is a global leader in advancing evidence-informed capacity strengthening practice in low- and middle-income countries, through:

  • Conducting high quality, implementation focused capacity strengthening research
  • Fostering a global community of capacity strengthening scientists with equitable low- and middle-income country participation
  • Sharing learning and advocating for evidence-informed capacity strengthening practice

Whilst specialising in strengthening the capacity of research systems, the Centre for Capacity Research retains a broad interest in capacity strengthening initiatives of all types within a low- and middle-income country contexts, including a sub-speciality in laboratory strengthening.

Research Themes

Our research themes have been developed to span the range of capacity strengthening activities we undertake:

Theory - to advance theoretical and conceptual understanding of capacity strengthening

Process - to support capacity strengthening implementation through embedded ‘learning’ research, enhancing programme success and highlighting ‘good practice’ for current and future capacity strengthening initiatives

Measurement and Impact - to develop and apply frameworks and tools appropriate for tracking progress and measuring the outcome and impact of capacity strengthening interventions

Our methods

High-quality research can be used to improve the lives of people in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) but to generate this research, scientists need not only appropriate skills and knowledge, they also need to work in institutions that value and actively support innovative research. With funders increasingly needing to be confident that their efforts to improve research capacity are effective, evidence about what works in different institutional contexts and which metrics to use to demonstrate progress, impact and sustainability, are urgently required.

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