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Research prioritization for the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA)

Research prioritization for ACTA

The good news is that there are many important clinical-research questions to be studied. The bad news is that there is so little time and money to investigate them all!

Therefore, like most things in life, research questions, and ultimately the research proposals to investigate them, need to be prioritized so that the available research resources are used efficiently.

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) makes 1000minds available to its members to support their research prioritization decision-making. ACTA is Australia’s national body responsible for supporting and representing clinician-researchers conducting clinical trials.

250+ ACTA members

10+ specialized 1000minds templates for ACTA members

Many $ millions research funding at stake

ACTA is dedicated to ensuring that clinical trials contribute as much as possible towards improving people’s health.

ACTA’s objective is to support its members – clinician-researchers conducting clinical trials in Australia – to target the most important research questions or proposals with the greatest potential for improving health outcomes.

About Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA)

ACTA is the national body representing clinician-researchers involved in clinical trials in the Australian health system that connects them with policy-makers, administrators and consumers (patients and taxpayers).

ACTA’s mission is to promote effective and cost-effective healthcare in Australia through investigator-initiated clinical trials and clinical quality registries that generate evidence to support decisions made by health practitioners, policy-makers and consumers.

The challenge

A challenge: saving money.

Because of the limited resources available for clinical trials, it’s important that these resources are used as efficiently as possible, with the objective of delivering the most benefits possible.

Prioritization decisions are necessary at various stages in the process of conducting and administering clinical trials.

In the early stages of a clinical trial, selecting the research questions to be investigated from the myriad of possibilities is fundamentally important.

Later on in the process, when researchers have submitted their research proposals for funding, they need to be assessed in order to select the best ones, including allocating the available resources across them.

These important decisions need to be made consistently, fairly and transparently. Valid and reliable decision-making methods are required.

It’s also important that under-represented groups, such as ethnic minorities and the ultimate consumers of the research itself, patients, are properly engaged with to discover their preferences too – i.e. in addition to clinician-researchers, policy-makers and administrators, who are typically well represented already.

These issues have bedeviled research networks across the Australian health research sector. Similar challenges are faced in other sectors and countries too.

The solution

Using 1000minds to elicit expert judgments for funding applications.

ACTA made 1000minds’ tools and processes available to its members to support the prioritization and selection of research questions or proposals.

1000minds Preference Surveys and Voting are used to determine the assessment criteria and their weights representing their relative importance. The research questions or proposals being assessed are then rated on the criteria using a 1000minds Categorization Survey.

The results

The results: a priority list.

Combining valid and reliable assessment criteria and weights with research questions (or proposals) that have been accurately rated on the criteria – all enabled by 1000minds – results in correspondingly valid and reliable research prioritization decisions.

And so ACTA and its members can have confidence in the research prioritization decisions reached.


Given the limited resources available for clinical-trials research, targeting the most important research questions or research proposals with the greatest potential for improving health outcomes is very important.

With the support of 1000minds, ACTA and its members are able to have confidence in their research prioritization decision-making.

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