Studying the Use of Research Evidence

The Foundation is focused on strengthening our understanding of when and how research is used in policy and practice affecting youth.

(Please continue to check this page as new resources are added as they become available.)


The Uses of Research in Policy and Practice by Vivian Tseng in the Social Policy Report (24 pages, 479KB). This brief examines the uses of research in policy and practice and draws lessons from the field.

Davies, H.T.O. & Nutley, S.M. Learning More About How Research-Based Knowledge Gets Used: Guidance in the Development of New Empirical Research, 2008. (35 pages, 203kb PDF) This paper, commissioned by the Foundation, is based on the review work described in their book: Nutley, Sandra M., Isabel Walter, and Huw T.O. Davies. Using Evidence: How research can inform public services. Bristol: The Policy Press, 2007.

National Research Council (2012). Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. This report investigates why research evidence is important to policy and the existing body of research on the use of research evidence.


Asen, R., Gurke, D., Conners, P., Solomon, R., & Gumm, E. (2012, January 16). Research evidence and school-board deliberations: Lessons from three Wisconsin school districts. Educational Policy.

Asen, R., Gurke, D., Solomon, R. Conners, P., & Gumm, E. The Research Says: Definitions and Uses of a Key Policy Term in Federal Lay and Local School-Board Deliberations

Finnigan, K., Daly, A., & Che, J.(2013). Systemwide Reform in Districts Under Pressure: The Role of Social Networks in Defining, Acquiring, and Diffusing Research Evidence. Journal of Educational Administration, 51(4).

Goertz, M.E., Barnes, C., & Massell, D. (2013) How State Agencies Acquire and Use Research in School Improvement Strategies. Consortium for Policy Research in Education. (Policy Brief)

Gurke, D., Asen, R., Conners, P., Solomon, R., & Gumm, E. (2011). The right call: How and when should you use research to influence and enhance your decisions? American School Board Journal,198 (3), 29–31.

Lubienski, C., Scott, J., & DeBray, E. (2011, July 22). The rise of intermediary organizations in knowledge production, advocacy, and educational policy. Teachers College Record.

Lubienski, C., Scott, J., & DeBray, E. (2014). Politics of education association special issue theme: the politics of research utilization. 28 (2).

Massell, D. Goertz, M.E., & Barnes, C. (2012). State Education Agencies Acquisition and Use of Research Knowledge for School Improvement. Peabody Journal of Education, 87(5): 609-626.

McDonnell, L.M. & Weatherford, M.S. (2013). Evidence use and the Common Core State Standards movement: from problem definition to policy adoption. American Journal of Education.

Mosley, J. E. & Courtney, M. E. (2012). Partnership and the Politics of Care: Advocates’
Role in Passing and Implementing California’s Law to Extend Foster Care
. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Nelson, S.R., Leffler, J.C. & Hansen, B.A. Toward a research agenda for understanding and improving the use of research evidence, 2009.

Palinkas, L. A., Translating Research into Social Work Practice: The View from Public Youth-Serving Systems. presented at the National Association of Social Workers Conference: California Chapter in September of 2012.

Palinkas, L. A., Measurement of Implementation Process: The Structured Interview of Evidence Use and Cultural Exchange Inventory. presented at the Fifth Annual NIH Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in March of 2012.

Funding Opportunties in the Use of Research Evidence

More information about our grants for studying the use of research evidence, including eligibility information and application instructions, is available through the link below.

Foundation Resources

Learning About the Use of Research to Inform Evidence-Based Policy and Practice: Early Lessons and Future Directions by Vivian Tseng 

Focusing on Demand: Studying Research Use in Policy and Practice Affecting Youth by Vivian Tseng with the Senior Program Team 

Studying the Use of Research Evidence in Policy and Practice by Vivian Tseng with the Senior Program Team 

The Uses of Research in Policy and Practice  presented by Vivian Tseng at Crossing Boundaries: Public and Private Roles in Assuring Child Well-being in April 2012.