James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership

Updated: 23 January 2017

Top 10 research priorities


The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, in partnership with the James Lind Alliance (JLA), has conducted a Research Priority Setting Partnership from September 2015 to January 2017 with the aim of including patients, carers and clinicians in a process to establish the research priorities in emergency medicine.

We have identifying unanswered research questions within emergency medicine (EM), ranked them in order of priority. The final output from the PSP is a 'top ten' of EM research priorities. Jason Smith as College Professor, has lead the process, but wider engagement was sought from clinicians of all levels (including doctors and nurses), patients, carers and the public. Richard Morley, a James Lind Alliance Adviser, acted as the independent chair of the Steering Group, and in this capacity guided the process and ensure fairness and transparency. Sam McIntyre, RCEM's Quality Manager, ran the project day-to-day.

It has involved over 200 research questions, almost 100 mini-systematic reviews, a long list of 72 questions (which were prioritised by over 500 people), a shortlist of 30, and finally a top 10 research priorities for emergency medicine.

We thank the hundreds of patients, their families, clinicians who work in emergency departments and everyone else who has contributed to this journey. Thank you for sharing your ideas and views with us - together we are shaping the future of emergency medicine.

About the final workshop

The final workshop was held in Manchester on 19 January 2017 and involved patients, the public, clinicians, the James Lind Alliance and RCEM.

At the final workshop we worked in small teams to determine the definitive Top 10 Emergency Medicine research priorities. This was an absolutely fascinating day full of interaction, lively debates, stimulating discussions and brilliant people. We worked together to boil down the top 30 priorities - as voted for by the EM community, healthcare professionals, patients, researchers and the public - to find the top 10.

Workshop objectives:

  • To give an overview of the priority setting process and work so far
  • To reflect on and discuss participants’ views of the short list of uncertainties in emergency medicine
  • In small and larger groups to order the short list by priority, noting areas of agreement and disagreement across groups. Together agree the 10 most important uncertainties
  • Consider next steps, so that the uncertainties are taken forward for research funding.

Ways to get involved

  1. Share the Top 10 with your contacts
  2. Get involved in research answering some of the Top 10 questions
  3. Tweet us @JLAEMPSP
  4. For more in depth information you can read our EM PSP Protocol document
  5. Donate to the exciting new RCEM Foundation to help fund worthy research and education in EM

Read all about it!

Publications, articles and news stories about the emergency medicine research priority setting partnership:
An Emergency Medicine Research Priority Setting Partnership to establish the top 10 research priorities in emergency medicine - EMJ (4 May 2017)
Here’s the top 10 (and more) research priorities in EM. James Lind & St.Emlyn’s (23 Jan 2017)
Setting research priorities in emergency care - Nursing times (25 Jan 2016)
Emergency Medicine Research Priority Setting Partnership - Cochrane UK
The emergency medicine research priority setting partnership - EMJ (29 Sept 2015)
Emergency Medicine PSP- James Lind Alliance
James Lind and the RCEM needs you (and you, and you) - St.Emlyn’s
Research Priority Setting: The Royal College Of Emergency Medicine, In Partnership With The James Lind Alliance (JLA) - NIHR CLAHRC Yorkshire & Humber
Nurses’ opinions matter and they should be heard: How you can help influence research - Nursing Times (18 Dec 2015)
James Lind and the RCEM needs you (and you, and you). St.Emlyn’s (23 Oct 2015)


The JLA is an organisation supported by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre in Southampton, and they bring together clinicians, patients, and other stakeholders in partnership to set research priorities. They aim to identify unanswered questions within a specialty, and rank them in order of priority, with the final output from the PSP being a 'top ten' of research priorities for that given area. The advantage of the JLA is that they provide a framework, with a reproducible process, and advisers who guide the process along the way. They are recognised by large grant-awarding bodies as the gold standard in research prioritisation. If you are applying for a research grant, and can map your application to one of the research priorities, then this adds considerable weight to the application. In 2013 a paediatric emergency medicine PSP was undertaken.

Meet the Steering Group

  • Richard Morley - Chair
  • Jason Smith - Clinical Lead
  • Sam McIntyre - Project Officer
  • Justine Amero
  • Simon Carley
  • Douglas Findlay
  • Lynsey Flowerdew
  • Melanie Gager
  • Liza Keating
  • Ben McCullough
  • Hazel McCullough
  • Rachel O’Brien
  • Miranda Odam
  • Ian Roberts
  • Katharine Wylie