Research Rigor credit forms 50% of the total evaluation and awards the quality of the research. The research quality will be assessed based on the following criteria: relevant prior research, concise and clear statement of problem and need, clear identification of research objectives and hypotheses (when applicable), appropriateness of the research design used for the stated objectives, rigor of methodology, reliability and validity of data collection tools, comprehensive and appropriate analysis of data, and succinct communication of results.
A design’s credibility and viability is based on defendable and repeatable findings that directly contributes to the organization’s overall strategic goals and preset key performance indicators. Project Value assessment will be based on the potential/demonstrated impact of the design, and on clearly identified performance indicators, including (but not limited to): changes in return-on-investment over the design intervention’s lifecycle; changes in operational efficiencies; changes in revenue; increased user well-being; changes in cost by implementing systematic and repeatable approaches; and/or health and productivity. Applicants may provide (1) data from demonstrated outcomes; or (2) arguments and hypothesis based on sound reasoning as to why they believe certain outcomes will take place, in both direction and magnitude.
Design research should not only have a positive impact on the specific organization(s) that were involved in the research, it needs to inform the industry as well. Many factors can affect depth of adoption, such as importance to the industry, feasibility of implementation, meaningfulness of the results, and more. Industry Impact assessment will be based on the clear articulation of potential value to the industry (does the research help to address a prevalent challenge in the industry); and proposed dissemination plan (how the results of this research might be adopted within the industry through planned dissemination paths). Applicants will be encouraged to discuss the barriers or challenges to achieving wide-spread adoption, and propose solutions to meet these barriers.
In addition to adding value to an organization, and the overall industry, design research should also be, fundamentally, a catalyst for innovation. The Design Innovation credit is awarded for developing and/or testing new or original design concepts of value to the design community. Applicants will be asked to describe how the design concept was developed and/or tested, (e.g., using a systematic R&D protocol); in what outcome areas the design innovation expected to, or been demonstrated to, have meaningful and substantial impact; how the development and testing relate to prevalent thinking in healthcare design and/or operations today; and how the design innovation (supported/tested by the research) helps resolve a debate, or offer a novel solution, that is timely and forward thinking.