At every level, public debates and policy decisions are rarely informed by the best research and evidence. Too often public debates aren’t even grounded in facts. Poorly informed policy decisions may do more harm than good. Researchers and research institutions can help – if they are equipped with skills and support.
Make Your Research Matter
Identify key people and organizations and formulate specific steps to take to develop relationships with them.
Windows of Opportunity
Recognize opportunities where your research can inform policy decision-making.
Better Research Questions
Work with policymakers and civic leaders to determine more effective research questions.
Your Role to Play
Make the most of different opportunities, from helping conceptualize problems to creating research-practice partnerships.
A One-day Workshop
Training Researchers to Inform Policy is a one-day workshop that gives scholars a hands-on introduction to effective principles of policy engagement. Designed for accomplished senior professors and advanced graduate students alike, scholars leave Training Researchers to Inform Policy workshops with tools to become powerful players in policy and build relationships with policymakers, civic leaders, and journalists.
A Unique Training
Training Researchers to Inform Policy is focused on one thing: giving researchers evidence-based, practical steps they take to ensure that research findings and researchers’ perspectives inform policy. The workshop gives scholars tools to map the policy landscape, identify decision makers and powerful players who work on the issues they study, and build relationships. These relationships can make research matter to policy, spur evidence-based policy reform and innovation, and lead to rich new research directions and partnerships.
Evidence-based Best Practices for Public Engagement
Training Researchers to Inform Policy is based on research about when policymakers use research -- and when they don’t. The curriculum draws on an in-depth literature review and dozens of interviews with researchers and practitioners. It also draws on six years of organizational learning by the Scholars Strategy Network, a nationwide interdisciplinary community of over 1,000 researchers dedicated to using research to improve public policy and strengthen democracy.
Participants learn to:
- Build relationships with civic leaders and journalists
- Be ready for opportunities to inform policy
- Choose policy-relevant research questions
- Combine rigor and impact
- Be an effective public scholar in a politicized era
“Researchers have many professional development opportunities -- what made SSN's workshop was unique was the focus on impact. A day with SSN was time well spent -- I learned effective strategies, engaged with other scholars, and brainstormed ideas about how my research could inform policy. SSN helped me reflect on my role as a researcher and my capacity to effect change, and I left the workshop with new plans and new tools to realize my goals.”
Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, Associate Professor, University of Delaware
“Too few social scientists know that there are best practices based on research that can help ensure their work is useful to -- and used by -- policymakers and practitioners. SSN has synthesized this research to create nuts and bolts workshops that empower scholars to achieve greater social impact.”
Vivian Tseng, Senior Vice President, William T. Grant Foundation
“Ensuring that research informs policy is no easy task. SSN workshops give researchers valuable tips and opportunities to take on these challenges and trade ideas for strategic engagement in the policy arena.”
Carolyn Heinrich, Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics, Vanderbilt University
"I am leaving with several doable tactics for fulfilling my goals of turning research into practice, and there is a supportive community of experts to help me."
Carrie Makarewicz, Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Colorado University Denver
“Absolutely loved my pre-conference experience with @SSNScholars! Thank you for the resources and the support!”
Katie M. Gordon, fourth-year doctoral student, Sociology, State University of New York at Stony Brook via Twitter
Set up a Training Researchers to Inform Policy Workshop
To learn the current schedule of workshops and sign up for a workshop, get updates, or find out about bringing a Training Researchers to Inform Policy workshop to your campus or institution, contact:
Peter Berard, PhD