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Learning How To Build a Research-Practice Partnership Just Got Easier


Monday, November 24, 2014


John Easton (left) and Christopher Mazzeo (right)

Have you checked out the new “one-stop shop” for building research-practice partnerships (RPPs) to improve education? Developed by the William T. Grant Foundation, the new site offers guiding tips, work samples, and resources so that other practitioners and researchers who are forming such collaborations “don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” as the foundation’s Vivian Tseng puts it.

The site offers best practices synthesized by a learning community of existing RPPs from across the country that have been convening for the past two years. REL Northwest is one of two regional educational laboratories to participate in this community. The group’s members agree that commitment to a long-term effort, a focus on practical issues, and attention to relationships are among the ingredients of a productive RPP.

The six topic areas framing the site are:

  1. Structuring a Partnership
  2. Developing a Joint Research Agenda
  3. Developing Data Sharing Agreements
  4. Communicating & Using Research Findings
  5. Staffing
  6. Funding

REL Northwest Director Christopher Mazzeo, who is a member of the learning community, brings years of experience in supporting the bridge between research and practice; prior to joining REL Northwest and overseeing the work of eight research alliances in the Northwest region, he served at the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR). Mazzeo believes that the partnerships have “the potential to increasingly change mindsets so that researchers are more practice-minded and practitioners are more evidence-minded.” The W.T. Grant Foundation’s online collection of lessons learned and practical wisdom should make the hard work of developing and maintaining a RPP much easier.