Launch of new platform to share research ideas with global scientific community

Loughborough University has launched a new platform that enables academics to share research ideas with scientists across the world, allowing greater collaboration and ensuring no idea is wasted.

The Research Ideas Catalogue – Knowledge and Impact (RIC-KI) website has been created by the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, and is initially focussed on research ideas related to physical activity and health, weight management and dietary behaviours, health and wellbeing, and sport.

It features a collection of ‘best’ research questions in these areas that academics wish to share with the global scientific community as potential collaborative research projects. The owners of the ‘ideas’ list their suggestions and how they wish to collaborate, with potential research partners then completing an online expression of interest form. The RIC-KI platform then connects both parties.

RIC-KI is the brainchild of Professor Amanda Daley, a world-leading expert in behavioural medicine, a National Institute for Health Research Professor, and Director of Loughborough’s Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour (CLiMB).

She came up with the idea when struggling to fulfil all the research ideas she had. Not wanting them to go to waste, she decided to see if a system could be developed that connected scientists interested in collaborating.

“One of the most effective ways to advance science is to do it collectively, by working together and sharing research ideas,” Professor Daley explains. “As a busy academic I know from experience that it is impossible to pursue all your research ideas. Through RIC-KI I hope that we can stop high quality ideas going to waste and help health researchers be more connected.

“RIC-KI is focused on a willingness to openly share research ideas and collaborate with likeminded scientists. Ultimately this will lead to more mutually beneficial global partnerships, enabling research to go further and faster.”

Professor Lucy Chappell, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and Chief Executive Officer for the National Institute for Health Research commented “Professor Daley is an NIHR-supported health research leader and it is great to see initiatives such as RIC-KI being launched.

“When people are connected in research, much more can be achieved, which can have important benefits for the health and well-being of the population. It is more important than ever before that researchers across health and social care work collaboratively, both across geographical and discipline boundaries, to tackle the ever-changing challenges for patients and the public. There are particular opportunities here for all researchers, including those at an early career stage, to reach beyond usual ways of working to achieve greater impact.”

Although RIC-KI is currently focussed on health and sport, the team hope this will be expanded to all research areas moving forward.