Translational Research: A Concept Emerged from Health Sciences and Exportable to Education Sciences


Work data:

ISSN: 2472-3649

Type of work: Article (academic)


Health and Medicine | Science Diffusion


The objective of this paper was to analyze the concept and evolution of translational research in order to explore if it can be used in fields other than health sciences such as higher education.

A mini review was conducted using Medline as a main source for identifying papers. We selected papers that appeared to be relevant according to our objective. Data extraction of these papers was made by summarizing documents using short textual descriptions.

Search results yielded 1186 papers, 28 of which were finally selected for the mini review.

The main aim of translational research is bridging the “know — do” gap. Several multiphase models have been identified. The first described model had two phases (T1, T2) but there are models with three (T1-T3) or four phases (T1- T4). However, regardless of the model used, three main gaps exist that can be placed in the knowledge chain underpinning translational research.

Translational research could be seen as a bidirectional bridge connecting the laboratory to practice either in health or in education. Its interdisciplinary “back and forth” ultimately contributes to improved health or education outcomes. This improvement can be achieved if the three gaps of the knowledge chain are overcome. Namely, these gaps are located: (1) between the discovery of new knowledge and dissemination to potential users of that knowledge; (2) between knowledge dissemination to potential users and its routine application to health or education practice; and (3) between clinical or educational practice and improvement of health or education outcomes.