Heather O'Connor
Managing Director of Research

Heather reached out in response to a blurb in our newsletter by a practitioner who wanted to talk about research related to race and political engagement. The collaborative conversation was helpful for the practitioner in various ways and it was also helpful for Heather in her own research as a professor at the time. Here's how she described the value for her:

"As researchers, we don't know the organizational context -- what has and has not already been tried, various interpersonal and community-level dynamics, limitations or opportunities in terms of resources, etc. -- until we sit down and talk with practitioners. Meeting with practitioners from a nonprofit organization allowed me to better see the nuance in the organizational context. That informed how we, working together, refined the research question and design of the study."

Kimberly Ratcliff
Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist at IRI

In 2020 Kimberly reached out in order to connect with researchers to partner on a new project. Here's what she said afterwards, after the initial connections and as the partnerships were getting underway:

"We were looking to find academic partners to bolster our research expertise to conduct quasi-experimental research on political party support. r4i was extremely helpful in refining our pitch and getting it to the network quickly and connecting us with those interested in the partnership. We originally intended to choose one partner, but ultimately selected two partners because we were so impressed with the conversations we had. While our partnerships have just started, the initial conversations have already been very helpful to think about evaluation and research from a more academic perspective."

Derek Wakefield

In 2020 Derek reached out in order to connect with and learn from organizers as he was starting his own research. This is what he said afterwards: 

"My research focuses on how partisan political campaigns in the United States engage and mobilize Latino voters. Research4impact helped crystallize my research topic and provided useful tips for how to approach practitioners and political campaigns. These conversations allowed me to identify which research topics are most relevant to both academics and practitioners. I appreciate the enormous support throughout this process and continued connections and advice."

Jesse Clark
PhD Student, Political Science

We connected Jesse with an electoral reform group that ultimately led to a formal collaboration that was a key part of his dissertation. Here's what he said about the process:

"My research focuses on the causes and consequences of election reform in the United States, particularly around its impact on the ability of voters to make their voices heard. With introductions made by research4impact, I was able to connect with an election reform group, which are often difficult for early-career researchers to gain access to. This initial connection resulted in a workable project, which served as the springboard to my entire dissertation. I can unequivocally say that without the help of Adam and research4impact, my academic career would not be where it are today."

Maria D. Perez
Ph.D. Student, Political Science and International Relations

Maria reached out to research4impact in order to connect with practitioners. Her experience underscores how conversations with practitioners, in addition to formal collaborations, provide immense insight:

“My research focuses on effective organizational lobbying strategies. Through research4impact I connected with two people at nonprofits who engage in lobbying in their everyday jobs to hear about the challenges they face on the ground. This process was very enriching as it gave me insight on the importance of understanding the particular on-the-ground incentives organizations face when they contact political elites. I truly enjoyed the conversations with both of them, since they offered a great opportunity to learn what type of issues non-profit organizations run into when trying to engage with elected representatives.”