Development of a Conceptual Framework to Guide Uptake of PhD-generated Knowledge by Policymakers

The Open Public Health Journal 16 Oct 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118749445253763230920043828



A few frameworks have been developed to guide the translation of research findings into policy in low-resourced countries. However, none of the frameworks are specific for PhD work and this often results in the work not being fully utilized for policy development.


This paper aimed to develop a framework tailored to facilitate the uptake by policymakers of knowledge generated from PhD studies in countries with limited resources.


Qualitative data were collected from 10 College of Health Sciences Leadership and 4 Department of Health personnel as well as from content analysis of 29 PhD theses. Quantitative data were collected through an online questionnaire administered to 47 PhD, 11 Ph.D final year students and 21 Ph.D supervisors. The framework was inspired by and adapted in part from the KTA framework.


The conceptual framework that emerged from the study consists of three main concepts namely (a) barriers of research uptake, (b) facilitators of research uptake, and (c) stages of knowledge uptake. Each concept has several constructs. For each barrier, there is a facilitator which makes it easy for translation to take place and for each barrier and facilitator, there is a knowledge uptake stage to be followed for translation to take place.


The framework can be used to facilitate the uptake of knowledge generated from PhD studies by policymakers in the South African context. We consider this framework unique as it is, to our knowledge, the first one that is specific for the translation of Ph.D work.

Keywords: Research uptake, Framework, PhD work, Framework development, Conceptual Framework, Policymaker.
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