Hearing about papers you’ve published, follow-on funding and patents you secure on the back of our research funding means that we can understand early on in the life of a grant how your research is contributing to our goal of taming prostate cancer. In turn, this means that we can show donors (existing and potential), men affected by prostate cancer, and our colleagues and trustees that we are funding great science, without having to wait until the ultimate impact of the research is realised. 

Moving away from Researchfish

For the past two years we’ve been trialling a system for gathering the outputs of research, called Researchfish. The idea was that if all funders used the same system to track this information, it would ease the burden on you and your teams when it came to reporting. The idea is clearly a good one – we need the information, but the quicker and easier it is for you to get it to us, the better.

However, after careful consideration we’ve decided to move away from Researchfish and trial something new. This is predominantly because there is still information we need that Researchfish currently can’t tell us. This means that we previously asked you to complete two separate annual report forms, which doesn’t really ease the reporting burden.

Instead, we now have one simple form for you to complete annually to update us on your project.

How do I report to you?

During the lifetime of a grant

We have combined the reporting of outcomes data with our own annual and final report forms, and have hopefully made things easier for you by moving it all online. You now just need to complete an online report once a year on the anniversary of the grant using the same Grants Management System that we use for our online funding applications. You will be given 1 month for an annual report or 3 months for a final reports to complete and submit your form. Initial feedback from this change has been overwhelmingly positive, so we hope that you will see this as a change for the better.

Once your grant has finished

We also plan to launch a follow-up reporting system, where we will continue to ask you for progress towards the ultimate end-goal of your research after the end of your funding from us.

We don’t expect everything we fund to end up being successful, but we can’t afford to miss the real life impacts, big or small, that make a difference for men with or at risk from prostate cancer. This information give us an unparalleled opportunity to use the past success of our research funding to raise more money and so fund more research. It also gives us a stronger stance when it comes to working with NICE, NHS England, drug companies and healthcare professionals to make sure that the work you’ve done is implemented, and your contribution is recognised.

Your help will be crucial to letting us make the most of these opportunities. If you do receive long-term follow up requests, please do complete them. We’ll work hard to keep them as light touch as possible. If there’s no impact yet, or if the trail has gone cold, that’s absolutely fine to tell us.

On the other hand, no matter how long ago you had a grant from us (or from our previous incarnations as Prostate Action or The Prostate Cancer Charity), if anything has happened since that you think might help us demonstrate the impact and importance of our funding, please do let us know.

Help us to help you

We will continue to refine our reporting mechanism, based on your feedback and our experience. We aim to make it as easy as possible for you, and as useful as possible for us, so there may be further developments in the future.

There are also more immediate ways that you can help us track the results of our funding. The first is to use an acknowledgement statement on papers you publish. All new grant holders will have a full acknowledgement statement included within their Welcome Pack. By using this statement, and by specifically mentioning ‘Prostate Cancer UK’ (and if possible the reference number of our grant(s) that contributed to that paper as well), we will be notified through web of science once it is published. Of course, you’re more than welcome to tell us directly, and we’d like to be sent a full text of any papers that you publish as well.

Finally, we’re constantly keeping an eye out for emerging tools that could make this whole process simpler. We think ORCID, the unique researcher identifier system, is a very promising development, so we have started to ask for your ORCID ID in our funding application forms. At the moment, this is a non-mandatory field, but for a number of funders, including NIH, this is a mandatory field for funding applications. If you haven’t got an ORCID ID, you can find out more about the system and register for an ID here.