Table 1

Description of domains and relevant criteria9 12

DomainDefinition
RelevanceThe key question for this domain is “why should we do it?” The proposed research is pertinent to the health problems of interest. It takes into consideration burden of disease, equity, alignment with national/organisational objectives and the level of existing knowledge in relation to the intervention.
AppropriatenessThe key question for this domain is “should we do it?” The proposed research is well suited to answer the decision problem (ie, answerability). It takes into consideration ethical, moral and legal acceptability, and scientific rigour.
SignificanceThe key question for this domain is “what will we get out of it?” It represents the benefit of implementing/translating the research results. It takes into consideration the impact on health, innovation and ability to foster capacity building and collaboration.
FeasibilityThe key question for this domain is “can we do it?” The focus is on the chances of research success. It considers team quality (track record) and capability, research environment and the research plan.
Cost-effectivenessThe key question for this domain is ‘is the research cost-effective?’ This theme focuses on the value for money of the research proposal and budget justification. It considers the costs and expected benefits of conducting research.