Research-practice partnerships: Working together to improve outcomes for youth.
Whether you are looking to form, grow, or support a research-practice partnership, you need to know where to start and what to expect. We’ve gathered guiding tips, work samples, and resources from successful partnerships that can help you on your way. Think of it as a one-stop shop.
Learn more about the variety of ways to support RPPs.
Grantmakers interested in supporting the work of RPPs must consider a range of issues—what aspects of the partnership to support, how to structure the support, what proposal materials and criteria are needed to reliably judge the merit and potential of partnership, how best to evaluate RPPs efforts post-funding, and how to convince their Boards and other internal stakeholders that supporting RPPs is a worthwhile investment.
In 2014, the William T. Grant Foundation launched a website to provide guidance to existing and emerging research-practice partnerships (RPPs). The site drew on the perspectives and expertise of researchers and school district leaders who participated in a Foundation-supported learning community of RPPs from 2012 to 2014. Since then, these partnerships have grown and additional resources—particularly to support partnerships in the field of education—have come online, including those from the National Network for Education Research Partnerships and the Research and Practice Collaboratory.
This year, the Foundation, with the help of the Forum for Youth Investment—our partners in the original site— expanded the scope of the website’s content to include resources and information relevant to a broader spectrum of partnerships, including those in fields such as child and adolescent mental health, juvenile and criminal justice, and child welfare. This expanded scope means that the site now provides useful resources for applicants to the Foundation’s Institutional Challenge Grant program, which encourages university-based research institutes, schools, and centers to build sustained research-practice partnerships with public agencies or nonprofit organizations in order to reduce inequality in youth outcomes.
The website continues to provide practical guidance, tips, insights, work samples, and resources related to: structuring a partnership, developing a joint research agenda, developing sharing agreements, communicating research findings, and staffing. What’s new is the inclusion of RPP work in child welfare, justice, and mental health, as well as updated resources in education. In addition, we expanded the sections on using research and evaluating RPPs, and incorporated a greater focus on sustaining partnerships.
Finally, as RPPs have garnered increased attention for their potential to improve the relevance of research and the quality of programs, policies, and practices, we have witnessed increased interest among Foundations and government agencies in supporting this work. For this reason, we have also developed a page specifically geared to providing guidance for funders interested in supporting partnerships.
As you can see, we are as committed as ever to supporting partnerships between practitioners and researchers in forming and growing. This expanded one-stop shop is a place to get started.
We define research-practice partnerships as long-term, mutually beneficial collaborations that promote the production and use of rigorous research about problems of practice.
Whether you are looking to form, grow, or support an RPP, you need to know where to start and what to expect. We've gathered guiding tips, work samples, and resources from successful partnerships that can help you on your way. Think of it as a one-stop shop.