There is far-reaching agreement that deep gaps exist between those who generate new scientific knowledge and those who could use that knowledge to formulate and execute social policies. Despite this consensus, little has been done to strengthen the exchange between academic and policymaking communities, resulting in serendipitous relationships that are often fraught with challenges, and unsustainable over time.
The National Science Foundation recently awarded CHASP faculty associate Angela Evans an EAGER Grant of $300,000 to explore how training protocols supported by NSF and targeted at research scientists in the hard sciences, technology, engineering and medicine might be beneficial to social and behavioral scientists as well.
The ultimate aim of this year-long work is to enhance the exchange of expertise, ideas, and discoveries between the academic research communities and the nonprofit and public sectors. The work undertaken by this grant will create replicable methodologies and training protocols that will allow scientists to build appropriate skills, and to practice successful approaches, to share knowledge and expertise with their policy and nonprofit counterparts.
It is the aim of this grant to help social and behavioral scientist to build partnerships with relevant policy stakeholders early in their research design process to further enhance the potential usefulness and sustainability of their work. Widespread adoption of such a curriculum by a variety of funding sources (e.g. nonprofit, governmental entities, and private foundations) could result in a new orientation for social science researchers – one that is sensitive to the practical challenges faced by policymakers and community stakeholders.