The Research-to-Policy Collaboration is an evidence-based, theory-driven, non-partisan, and replicable model for bridging research and policy by building partnerships between research-oriented professionals and policymakers.
The RPC recognizes that mutual trust and direct interaction between researchers and legislative staff are needed to elevate the use of research in evidence. Researchers are searching for ways to engage in policy yet they have little support. To that end, we developed a model to prepare and connect researchers with policymakers with shared interests.
Ultimately, we envision the RPC approach as a structured opportunity for applying research in the policymaking context.
Since 2015, our Rapid Response Network has reached over 600 research-oriented professionals across 46 states who have engaged thousands of state and federal legislative officials on a variety of issues. We continue to expand our capacity to respond to policymakers’ priorities and research needs. Here are some of our past responses.
Doing evidence-based policy in an evidence-based way means that we are not only bridging research and policy, we are also evaluating these strategies and have demonstrated benefits to both policymakers (PNAS, 22021) and researchers (American Psychologist, 2021).
Note: Those participating in this project will be asked to participate in a study that aims to enhance researchers’ policy engagement experiences. Although survey participation is completely voluntary, due to the nature of observational data collected (e.g., participation and engagement), you will be asked to consent to the study as a whole in order to participate in the RPC Researcher Network.
The RPC Network
Commitments and Expectations
Researchers participating in the Rapid Response Network will be asked to commit time to several processes that allow us to understand your interests and how that aligns with congressional needs. These processes will also allow us to prepare you for collaboration with congressional and other government offices. When consultative meetings (in person or over zoom) occur, we will look to identify researchers from the network who are prepared (e.g., participated in prior trainings), are able to commit time to follow-up, and have relevant research interests. Researchers’ field(s) of concentration are catalogued via the Researcher Network registration process. This information also allows us to filter our communications so you only receive updates relevant to you.
The following list describes opportunities for involvement in the Rapid Response Network:
- Responses to Requests for Information – Requests for information are posted via the discussion forum and aid in facilitating collaboration between legislative offices and network members. Learn more about the response process HERE.
- Trainings and Webinars – Digital meetings are the cornerstone of the professional development aspect of this initiative and are offered on a rotating basis. We recognize that our members have varying levels of policy-related experience and we invite individuals of all levels of experience to participate. Those with less experience can benefit from the wisdom of those with experience! As part of our network, you will also have opportunities to join us at training events occurring at conferences or stand-alone trainings facilitated in partnership with affiliated organizations. Click HERE to watch past training webinars and review our handouts.
- Expertise Assessment – We may occasionally seek to supplement the information we have about your skills and areas of interest via brief surveys to aid in identifying individuals with expertise that align with the needs indicated by congressional offices.
What researchers have said about their meetings with legislative officials:
Joining the RPC is beneficial for both professional growth and social impact!
- Apply your knowledge to be part of the decision-making process!
- Network, collaborate, and share knowledge with like-minded researchers
- Learn how to effectively communicate and collaborate with policymakers
- Keep up to date with the latest research and related policies
- Gain insight into the policy process and the needs of policymakers
- Receive a letter documenting your service for promotion materials