Partnership success requires staff with the skills to manage, conduct, and communicate research that is relationship-dependent and contextualized to local needs.

Technical and analytical skills, which researchers routinely acquire in graduate and post-graduate training, are important, as are the abilities to share ownership of the partnership and remain flexible.

Researchers need the ability to negotiate and articulate problems of practice alongside practitioners, to tailor communications to distinct audiences, and to adapt to changing circumstances. An aptitude for collaboration and communication is critical to partnership-building.

Guiding Tips and Questions

“It requires a set of hybrid skills—analysis, inquiry, strong human relations, and the ability to conduct work with multiple stakeholders in mind. There is also a different orientation to how an agenda is framed rather than being invested in one’s own vision of the work.”

Steve Fleischman CEO, Education Northwest


  • Knowledge Brokering

    Knowledge brokering is focused on the skills and aptitudes that link different entities that might not otherwise have a strong relationship. This article explores how knowledge brokers connect people to share and exchange knowledge in a collaborative environment.

  • Building the Capacity and Conditions for Successful Partnerships: Researchers

    Derived from a presentation by Education Northwest’s Steve Fleischman, this resource offers strategies for fostering the next generation of applied researchers.