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VA-DoD guidebook aims to spur collaborative research

April 24, 2014

VA/DoD Collaboration Guidebook for Healthcare Research-2013

VA/DoD Collaboration Guidebook for Healthcare Research-2013

The 2013 edition of the VA/DoD Collaboration Guidebook for Healthcare Research is available on the VA Research website. The book, first introduced in 2011, is designed to spur more collaboration between VA and the Department of Defense in the area of health research.

The new 76-page edition was funded by VA Health Services Research and Development and produced with editing and design support from VA Research Communications. Six lead authors from VA and DoD and more than 60 advisors and reviewers from the two agencies developed the content.

The book has updated agency information and practical tips and guidance for investigators and research administrators. It covers topics such as identifying collaborators, submitting research proposals, and understanding the rules for data security and human-subjects protection in each agency.

VA and DoD researchers have increasingly joined together on research in the past decade or two, as part of wider efforts to boost coordination and integration between the two agencies. The guidebook's overview section provides an overview of how researchers—and Service members and Veterans—benefit from this partnership:

"Researchers choose to collaborate for various reasons: to answer research questions that are most effectively addressed through collaborative studies; to share responsibility, expertise, or perspective; to pool financial and human resources; to increase efficiency and funding opportunities....A military collaborator understands the military culture and can offer strategies for building liaisons with and obtaining permissions from the appropriate command or military agency. Similarly, a VA collaborator understands the working structure and culture of VA. Finally, a key reason for DoD and VA researchers to collaborate is to enable longitudinal studies of Service members and Veterans that encompass diagnosis, course of treatment, outcomes, and impact on family."

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