Conceptual model of comprehensive research metrics for improved Human Health and environment

Jill A. Engel-Cox, Bennett Van Houten, Jerry Phelps, Shyanika W. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: Federal, state, and private research agencies and organizations have faced increasing administrative and public demand for performance measurement. Historically, performance measurement predominantly consisted of near-term outputs measured through bibliometrics. The recent focus is on accountability for investment based on long-term outcomes. Developing measurable outrome-based metrics for research programs has been particularly challenging, because of difficulty linking research results to spatially and temporally distant outcomes. Our objective in this review is to build a logic model and associated metrics through which to measure the contribution of environmental health research programs to improvements in human health, the environment, and the economy. Data Sources: We used expert input and literature research on research impact assessment. Data Extraction: With these sources, we developed a logic model that defines the components and linkages between extramural environmental health research grant program and the outputs and outcomes related to health and social welfare, environmental quality and sustainability, economics, and quality of life. Data Synthesis: The logic model focuses on the environmental health research portfolio of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Division of Extramural Research and Training. The model delineates pathways for contributions by live types of institutional partners in the research process: NIEHS, other government (federal, state, and local) agencies, grantee institutions, business and industry, and community partners. Conclusions: The model is being applied to specific, NIEHS research applications and the broader research community. We by discuss two examples and discuss the strengths and limits of outcome-based evaluation of research programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-592
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Conceptual model development
  • Environmental health research
  • Metrics development
  • Performance measurement
  • Research impact evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Conceptual model of comprehensive research metrics for improved Human Health and environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this