Cultivating Researcher-Policymaker Partnerships: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Model for Training Public Psychologists

Key to bringing psychological science to bear on public policy is developing scholars’ engagement and rapport with policymakers. Scholars benefit from support navigating the policy arena in ways that strengthen their independent policy engagement. This study presents findings from a randomized controlled trial of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC) model, which develops and trains a rapid response network of researchers to respond to legislative requests for scientific evidence. Researchers were surveyed on their concerns about how policymakers support or use scientific research, how they engaged with policymakers, and perceived benefits to their research. Researchers randomized to the RPC reported fewer concerns about policymakers’ support and use of research, greater involvement in supporting policymakers’ understanding of problems (i.e., conceptual use), and more responses to external prompts for their involvement. Subgroup analyses examined how experiences differed for those identifying as Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color (BIPOC). At baseline, BIPOCidentifying researchers perceived greater costs of policy engagement and reported less involvement in supporting conceptual or instrumental uses of research than White-identifying researchers. Subsequent to the RPC, BIPOC-identifying researchers in the intervention group were reportedly less concerned about federal support of science, more engaged in supporting conceptual uses of research, and perceived greater benefits of policy engagement for their research than BIPOC-identifying researchers in the control group. These differences were not observed among White-identifying researchers. Findings are discussed in light of disparities experienced by marginalized scholars, the ways in which resources and supports may counteract these challenges, and possible strategies to strengthen public psychology overall.

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Work Title Cultivating Researcher-Policymaker Partnerships: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Model for Training Public Psychologists
Open Access
  1. D. Max Crowley
  2. J. Taylor Scott
  3. Elizabeth C. Long
  4. Lawrie Green
  5. Cagla Giray
  6. Brittany Gay
  7. Azaliah Israel
  8. Rachel Storace
  9. Mary McCauley
  10. Michael Donovan
  1. Public policy
  2. Scholarly impact
  3. Translational science
  4. Public service
  5. Use of research evidence
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. American Psychologist
Publication Date November 1, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited August 22, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Crowley2021_AP_Public_Psych_Policymaker.docx
  • Added Creator D. Max Crowley
  • Added Creator J. Taylor Scott
  • Added Creator Elizabeth C. Long
  • Added Creator Lawrie Green
  • Added Creator Cagla Giray
  • Added Creator Brittany Gay
  • Added Creator Azaliah Israel
  • Added Creator Rachel Storace
  • Added Creator Mary McCauley
  • Added Creator Michael Donovan
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword Show Changes
    • Public policy, Scholarly impact, Translational science, Public service, Use of research evidence