RPPs are concerned with process as much as they are concerned with products, and funders should explicitly champion this important relationship-building aspect of RPP work. Funding requests should outline not just intended products, but also the processes, plans, and engagement strategies related to those products. Additional process considerations that funders might solicit include information about:
Mentoring: Arrangements to support research or practice partners in developing skills and professional behaviors needed to develop strong partnerships.
Embedded researcher strategies: Formal arrangements to integrate members of the research partner team into the agency setting for the purpose of facilitating joint work. Such arrangements include co-locating research partners in agency settings, arranging for research associates to report directly to agency leadership, and formally employing one or more research team members within the partnering agency.
Plans to use the research produced: Evidence of structures or arrangements to facilitate the sharing of research findings with the practice partners. Research findings should be shared in formats that are responsive to practitioners’ needs. RPPs should also offer evidence of strategies to ensure that findings will be used to inform responses to relevant problems of practice.
Ownership of research products: Agreements about how research products will be published and branded, and who will own intellectual products derived from the research.
Funders can go still further to ask partners to identify how they will address challenging issues such as negotiation of power imbalances, managing competing demands, and securing general operating support to sustain the partnership.