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Towards research combat readiness: prepared, prospective and preapproved
  1. David N Naumann1,2,3,
  2. N Eisenstein1,2,
  3. D S Burns3 and
  4. S A Stapley1
  1. 1Academic Department of Military Surgery and Trauma, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Major David N Naumann, NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham B152TH, UK; david.naumann{at}


Research drives the advancement of medical knowledge during war, but planning and execution are too slow to enable early data acquisition. Future conflicts are likely to be shorter and more dispersed, requiring innovation to avoid missing out on the crucial early stages. To seize the initiative, we suggest that a collection of preapproved research studies be designed, stored and maintained within the medical command structure so that they are ready for immediate implementation at the onset of future conflicts, even during the most kinetic early phases of deployment.

  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Planning

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  • Contributors DNN, NE and DSB devised and developed the ideas and innovations discussed within the manuscript. DNN wrote the manuscript, and NE, DSB and SAS critically appraised and edited the manuscript. SAS acts as guarantor.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.