Recommendations for Collaborating Successfully With Academic Researchers

Recommendations for Collaborating Successfully With Academic Researchers: Findings from the Researcher‐Practitioner Partnerships Study (RPPS)


Tami P. Sullivan, Enna Khondkaryan, Bonnie S. Fisher

Research has the greatest potential to impact change in practice and policy when (1) it is conducted in collaboration with practitioners rather than conducted by an academic researcher alone, and (2) its findings are meaningfully communicated to the people who influence policy and practice (Block, Engel, Naureckas, & Riordan, 1999; Mouradian, Mechanic, & Williams, 2001). Practitioners in the criminal justice (CJ) system have the potential to play a fundamental role in the development and conduct of research. As administrators, supervisors, and direct service staff, practitioners have knowledge and experience that is critical to conducting the most rigorous research possible and producing useful results and products.

This brief provides recommendations to practitioners for collaborating, based on a study conducted with practitioners in the CJ system (staff employed within the CJ system or staff who provide services to CJ‐involved clients but are not employed within the system) and researchers in the United States and Canada who, from their perspectives, collaborated successfully to complete a research project. The aims of this brief are to help practitioners (a) plan for future research collaborations that will function as seamlessly as possible and (b) produce findings that have significant impact on practices, policies, services,  and ultimately contribute to improving advocacy and support for victims and reducing crime and recidivism. 

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