Background: In order to achieve success in future goals and activities, health research centers are required to identify their key success factors. 

Objective: This study aimed to extract and rank the factors affecting the success of research centers at one of the medical universities in Iran.

Methods: This study is a mixed method (qualitative-quantitative) study, which was conducted between May to October in 2016. The study setting was 22 health research centers. In qualitative phase, we extracted the factors affecting the success in research centers through purposeful interviews with 10 experts of centers, and classified them into themes and sub-themes. In the quantitative phase, we prepared a questionnaire and scored and ranked the factors recognized by 54 of the study samples by Friedman test.

Results: Nine themes and 42 sub-themes were identified. Themes included: strategic orientation, management, human capital, support, projects, infrastructure, communications and collaboration, paradigm and innovation and they were rated respectively as components of success in research centers. Among the 42 identified factors, 10 factors were ranked respectively as the key factors of success, and included: science and technology road map, strategic plan, evaluation indexes, committed human resources, scientific evaluation of members and centers, innovation in research and implementation, financial support, capable researchers, equipment infrastructure and teamwork.

Conclusion: According to the results, the strategic orientation was the most important component in the success of research centers. Therefore, managers and authorities of research centers should pay more attention to strategic areas in future planning, including the science and technology road map and strategic plan.


Keywords: Key factors, Success, Research Centers
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