International role for dental school academic

Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth  University, is hosting a new international research initiative, the Cochrane Agenda and Priority Setting Methods group.

It has been set up to develop strategies to improve the process of selecting topics for future research.

Dr Mona Nasser, clinical lecturer in Evidence Base Dentistry at PDS, is leading this initiative along with a multinational team which includes other academics from the UK, Canada and India within the Cochrane Collaboration, one of the world’s leading health research organisations.

The Cochrane Collaboration brings together clinicians, health care researchers and consumers in order to prepare and maintain systematic reviews in health care, and promote the publicising and accessibility of such reviews.

Until now the way in which systematic reviews, and other forms of research, have been prioritised has been erratic. This Methods group will create a more strategic approach to the process by pooling experiences so far and appraising the evidence on different methods in use.

PDS has launched its involvement by hosting an international workshop on Research Priority Setting Methods as part of Plymouth University’s commitment to international research, networking and collaboration.

The Methods Group has worked with Cochrane Canada and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to develop a webinar on this topic. These resources are available online at

Dr Nasser said:’ Research prioritisation is a hot topic of enormous importance to researchers, funding agencies, governments and society as a whole, but there has been little consultation on how best to approach this task. My colleagues and I will be working to review the evidence in order to create a way of working that can be used by researchers the world over.’


Professor David Moles, Professor of Oral Health Services Research at PDS, added: “Mona’s appointment as co-convenor  of the Research Priority Setting Methods Group is a great achievement. It means that, along with her collaborators, she will formulate ways of working in health and social care research that will be adopted globally by one of the world’s foremost research organisations. We are grateful to Plymouth University for supporting this important initiative.”

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