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What is a SWAR?
A SWAR is a research study that can help provide evidence to inform decisions about how we plan, do and share the findings of future reviews. It addresses methodological uncertainty and is usually embedded within a systematic review or other evidence synthesis to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative ways of delivering or organising a particular review process.
Why do we need to do SWARs?
Systematic reviews must be conducted with methodological rigour and transparency because their results affect people’s care and therefore, their lives. Reviews also need to be seen to be right.
The processes by which reviews are planned, conducted, analysed and reported are informed by up-to-date research evidence rather than by convention. This maximises the likelihood that review processes are efficient, thereby minimising waste of time and other resources. Researchers should aim for comparable rigour to that with which reviews seek to answer questions about health and social care when seeking to inform decisions on how we ‘do’ reviews.
Key features of a SWAR
- Aim to generate evidence to address uncertainties in the processes of how we plan, do and share the findings of systematic reviews
- Selects from diverse study designs appropriate to the methodological uncertainty the SWAR is trying to answer
- Either is embedded within a single review or across multiple reviews to make any necessary comparison
- Should not compromise the objective, methods, integrity, outcome, and dissemination of the host review or reviews
- Is accompanied by its own discrete protocol
- Informs the method, design, and implementation of future systematic reviews and evidence synthesis
Evidence Synthesis Ireland SWAR Award Scheme
This funding scheme aims to support research teams to conduct a SWAR. Up to €6250 (inclusive of 25% overheads) is available per award.
Who should apply?
- Lead applicants must be currently resident in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and working in an eligible institution.
- Host reviews can be located anywhere in the world.
- Members of ESI’s staff or Executive Management Committee are ineligible to be lead, co-applicants or collaborators.
How to apply?
1. Read the Guidance Notes for details of the Scheme.
2. Complete and submit the Application Form with a CV before the deadline
3. Read our accompanying paper recently published in the Journal of Evidence Based Medicine.
4. Share our flyer with your collaborators and get brainstorming.
5. Watch the webinar recording