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 is 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 are:
- 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 have formed around these questions and the research is well underway. New exemplar research questions relating to diet are also in progress.
The study registry includes a catalogue of the harmonisation algorithms from the exemplar studies for re-use, making it easier for researchers to harmonise similar data sets in future. It also provides transparency of how the data were generated for a particular analysis.
Successful completion of these and other exemplar projects will illustrate how the approach can make novel and otherwise challenging research questions tractable. This will serve to promote wider engagement in the approach and begin development of a collaborative ‘data access and results sharing’ network for cross-cohort analysis.