The Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC) is a model for bridging research and policy, emphasizing partnerships between researchers and legislative staff.
We are committed to strengthening the use of research in policy by facilitating meaningful, action-oriented collaboration between legislative officials and researchers. Our primary goal is to support the non-partisan use of scientific evidence by facilitating partnerships between researchers (including applied research/evaluation) and lawmakers.
- Use of empirical evidence in decision making.
- Prevention of social problems.
- Equity in policymaking
- Participation in government
We believe it is more fruitful to work within the context of existing policy priorities because our primary objective is to facilitate trusting partnerships between research and policy communities. Because the approach is non-partisan, we are less interested in how these problems are addressed so long as the methodologies are informed by research evidence and ultimately advance wellbeing. Therefore, we rarely take explicit stances on specific policies because, most often, there are multiple ways to approach a problem, and specific solutions tend to fall on party lines.
We instead take an educational approach by synthesizing literature related to policies, without making a plea for one policy strategy over another.
To read more about the evidence behind our approach, visit our Empirical Rationale page.
Although certain topics can be politically loaded, facilitating the use of empirical evidence in policy requires one to work across political boundaries in trusting, collegial relationships.
As such, a non-partisan approach is necessary, or one that strives to be apolitical and does not align with the political agenda of a specific political faction. Additionally, the RPC model adheres to a bipartisan approach by engaging equally with different political parties and working on issues with bipartisan support (e.g., Republican and Democrat cosponsors on a bill).
We DO not Lobby
In the RPC, we define advocacy broadly as activities that promote policy action around a certain cause, issue, or agenda. This includes a range of activities, including educating legislators on research, lobbying, public demonstrations, etc. Although educational efforts often strive to minimize partisanship and may involve being an “honest broker” who describes research related to a range of policy options (rather than promoting a specific option), the emphasis on using research evidence to guide effective or cost-efficient policies are values that tend to guide this discourse. Therefore, we view educational efforts as a type of advocacy, even if those efforts are not designed to promote or oppose specific policy solutions.
The Research-to-Policy Collaboration model is implemented such that legislative meetings are held off-the-record, free of special interests, and without lobbying. We are funded by philanthropic and scientific foundations, federal research grants, and support from implementing research institutions or centers. We do not accept funding from special interest groups or partisan entities. We also do not retain registered lobbyists as our mission is to provide independent and agenda-neutral support for policymakers.