Estimating Return on Investment in Translational Research: Methods and Protocols

Kyle L. Grazier, William M. Trochim, David M. Dilts, Rosalind Kirk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Assessing the value of clinical and translational research funding on accelerating the translation of scientific knowledge is a fundamental issue faced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its Clinical and Translational Awards (CTSAs). To address this issue, the authors propose a model for measuring the return on investment (ROI) of one key CTSA program, the clinical research unit (CRU). By estimating the economic and social inputs and outputs of this program, this model produces multiple levels of ROI: investigator, program, and institutional estimates. A methodology, or evaluation protocol, is proposed to assess the value of this CTSA function, with specific objectives, methods, descriptions of the data to be collected, and how data are to be filtered, analyzed, and evaluated. This article provides an approach CTSAs could use to assess the economic and social returns on NIH and institutional investments in these critical activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-491
Number of pages14
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • ROI
  • evaluation
  • return on research investment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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