To ensure that activities are linked to current and future scientific direction, InterConnect is using a number of exemplar research projects.
These address research questions of aetiological and public health interest, and therefore serve to engage researchers in the approach. They enable us to understand and address the real-life issues that affect implementation and use of the tools and infrastructure we are developing. Our first exemplar research questions were:
- What is the association between physical activity during pregnancy on neonatal adiposity?
- What is the association between fish intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes?
Collaborative groupings formed around these questions and the research is either published or being written up for submission. Further research questions relating to diet are also in progress.
A new exemplar project relating to diet is being initiated in 2020:
- What is the association between types of meat consumption and risk of T2DM across populations in different countries?
Successful completion of these and other exemplar projects illustrates how the approach can make novel and otherwise challenging research questions tractable. This serves to promote wider engagement in the approach and begin development of a collaborative ‘data access and results sharing’ network for cross-cohort analysis.