Ellen McIntyre & Louise Baird, PHC RIS
The Research Capacity Building Initiative (RCBI) was established in 2000 to support University Departments of General Practice and Rural Health to provide training and support in primary health care research, particularly among local practitioners.
Since 2006, PHC RIS has been extracting data from the RCBI annual reports submitted to the Department of Health and Ageing. This summary provides a snapshot of activities and achievements over the past three years and how each year has contributed to this.
Support for researchers
Between 265 and 307 researchers ranging from pre Masters to Post doctoral level have been supported each year through the RCBI. This is in addition to the 173 Researcher Development Program (RDP) Fellows who were provided with financial and mentoring support. Increases were noted from 2006 to 2008 in the number of researchers gaining full support from RCBI.
Leveraging external research funding
RCBI funded researchers have also been very active in acquiring research funding to further support their research endeavours. Over $17million (covering 205 projects) has been obtained over the past three years with an average success rate of 66%.
Research outputs – peer review papers and presentations
Peer review papers have increased from 116 (in 2006) to 146 (in 2007) to 235 (in 2008), a total of 497 papers in three years. While the most popular journal continues to be the Australian Family Physician, the number of papers published in the Medical Journal of Australia has tripled in number from 2007 to 2008. The rural health journals, Rural and Remote Health and the Australian Journal of Rural Health also continue to publish papers from RCBI funded research.
There have been over 1 000 presentations in the past three years with the numbers of presentations of papers, posters, and workshops all increasing each subsequent year. Indeed, there have been more presentations at both international and national conferences - an indication of the quality of the research being done since most conference presentations are via abstract submission and peer review.