Roundtable: Just in Time: Getting Research to Policymakers and Making it Stick
(Politics, Media, and the Policy Process)

Thursday, November 8, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Hoover - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Moderators:  Matthew Stagner, Mathematica Policy Research
Speakers:  Joan Lombardi, Early Opportunities, LLC, Jenni Owen, Office of North Carolina Governor and Laura Zeilinger, Department of Human Services (DHS)

Formal research-policy partnerships have proliferated recently, as has research on how to improve them.  However, many researchers do not have formal partnerships with policy makers.  How, then, can researchers in academic settings effectively get their research into the policy realm and raise the odds that it “sticks” in the minds of policy makers and their staffs.


This roundtable session will provide practical guidance for researchers in academic setting who hope to move their work into policy settings. Research has the potential to inform policies at all levels.  Yet, it is often difficult for such work to translate into action. In a time when policy makers are looking for evidence to drive decisions and researchers are increasingly determined to make an impact, this discussion can guide researchers.


These are some questions the session will address:


  • Policy engagement: what does it mean and how can I do it?
  • Why did the policymaker cross the road?  She replied to my colleague’s email but not mine!
  • I told the legislator to feel free to call if I could ever be helpful but s/he never called.  Why?


A panel of current and former policymakers and researcher communication experts will discuss factors that hinder the use of research in policy decision making, strategies that foster collaboration, and strategies to bridge the gap between academia and policy making. Panelists will describe communication strategies that have worked along with those that did not, providing direct and actionable advice about how to improve research impact. The panel will discuss delivery mechanisms, messengers, timing, and other factors that may affect the impact research has on the policy world.