Research governance

Research aims of The Drake Foundation

The research aims of The Drake Foundation are centred on forging the most effective partnerships and funding the best minds at leading institutions in the UK and beyond. Core research aims of funded projects should have the potential to make a positive and tangible change to the safety of sports participants. Projects should demonstrate:

Translational value
To enable research that has the greatest potential to directly improve the evidence base behind sporting guidelines, so that participants’ risk is reduced through improved safety measures and awareness. Basic research projects should ultimately be translatable, with the aim of any findings having a tangible impact on human and disease in the future.

Creation of partnerships
To have a vision that is collaborative and transparent, and drive initiatives centred on facilitating meaningful partnerships between sporting, academic and regulatory leaders.

Public engagement
To ensure that data and information are shared with the scientific community and translated to the general public.

Review of proposals

To make sure that the highest quality projects with the best chance of success are chosen, proposals undergo the following review process:

Internal review:
Research applications are checked internally for eligibility, fit to the Foundation and its aims, basic scientific quality, track record of applicants, cost of delivery and feasibility.

External review:
If there are several applicants to choose from, an external review of applications by relevant independent experts in the field will be conducted.

External written peer-review:
Chosen research projects undergo a formal scientific peer review process on the proposed protocol by at least two independent reviewers who are subject experts. Applicants are then given the chance to improve the protocol and address reviewers’ comments before moving to the contractual process.

NB: The definition of independent used here is that the reviewers must have relevant expertise, be external to the investigators’ host institution and not involved in the study in any way.

Oversight and progress monitoring

The Drake Foundation provides independent oversight of research projects, monitors progress and impact, and advocates good research practise. This is done through:

Independent Oversight Committees
For large scale projects, The Drake Foundation establishes an Independent Oversight Committee (IOC). The IOC consists of a group of experts who have been invited to the committee for their expertise in the particular research area under investigation and, where appropriate, includes player representatives.

The responsibilities of the IOC are to:

  1. Monitor participant safety
  2. Review study conduct and progress
  3. Make recommendations concerning the progress of the study

No member of the IOC should have direct involvement in the conduct of the study, or have any financial, proprietary or other competing interests that may affect impartial, independent decision-making regarding the particular research project. All members of the IOC are asked to disclose any potential conflicts of interest prior to appointment.

Quarterly updates
To monitor and evaluate the outputs of research projects, The Drake Foundation grant holders are required to provide regular updates on the progress of funded work.

Public communication
The Drake Foundation actively works with project partners to provide information on a range of topics such as publications, collaborations and partnerships, engagement activities, relevance to policy or the public, research tools and methods, awards and recognition. This is to ensure open communication with partners and common understanding at all phases of research projects.