Category: Policy Bridge Opportunities

Policy Engagement Training

Organized by the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN), in partnership with the William T. Grant Foundation, this interactive workshop provides researchers and data scientists the opportunity to learn best practices for developing reciprocal relationships with civic intermediaries and policymakers. In the pursuit of its mission to bridge the gap between universities and the policy process, the network has identified the knowledge and skills that researchers need to use their expertise more effectively in the policy realm. The centerpiece is an approach that emphasizes relationships and research-practice partnerships between academics and practitioners, rather than the traditional model of one-way information dissemination.

This workshop aims to provide concrete tools to empower researchers to foster long-term, reciprocal relationships with policymakers. These relationships — which are most formally organized as research-practice partnerships, but can take many other forms — have the potential to address policy crises and opportunities when they arise, as well as to promote policy improvement over the long-run. Skills taught in the training include: how to develop ongoing, reciprocal, trusting relationships with policymakers and civic intermediaries; how to assess policymakers’ resources, needs, and opportunities; the timing of the policy-making process; how to make effective use of intermediary groups; how interaction with policymakers can help researchers determine better research questions; and how ongoing policy engagement can be a part of researchers’ academic success.

Co-hosted by Duke Policy Bridge


Date: Friday, March 30th

Time: 8am-3pm


Open to doctoral students, post-docs, research associates, and faculty.

Applications will be accepted until 8:00am EST Tuesday, February 13th. We will notify applicants of their admission status by Monday, February 19th.

Up to $4,000 available for Policy Engagement

The Policy Bridge has funds available for policy engagement activities that serve to catalyze, expand, or enhance efforts to connect the worlds of research and public policy. Up to $4,000 is available for each grant. Click here for more details and contact to submit your application

2015-16 grantees include:

  • Sanford Professor Bruce Jentleson’s project is on Track Two diplomacy between the U.S. and Russia on Syria. Professor Jentleson has been part of a small team of Americans meeting with Russian counterparts to seek progress on Syria in coordination with the U.S. Government. Engagement funds will allow Professor Jentleson to meet on different occasions with U.S. officials at the National Security Council, Departtment of State, and Department of Defense.
  • Political Science Professor Tim Buthe took students from his class on U.S. Antitrust to Washington, DC to meet with policymakers and practitioners in federal antitrust regulation.
  • Sanford Professor Kathryn Whetten organized a Maternal and Child Health conference with Policy Bridge support. The Policy Bridge helped recruit attendees from policy community and a student to live tweet the event. This student also wrote an article on highlights of the policy relevant aspects of the conference.
  • Sanford Professor Leslie Babinski’s project to produce a short video about the findings from a pilot study to promote academic success for Latino English Learners. The video will bridge research, policy, and practice by providing an accessible way for school district administrators, principals, teachers, and policymakers to learn about the components of the professional development program and the study’s findings.

Video Highlights How Collaboration is Benefiting Latino English Learners


Developing Consultation and Collaboration Skills (DCCS) is an innovative teacher professional development program that aims to increase language and literacy outcomes for Latino English Learners. In Fall 2016, the program developed a video to showcase their research findings and collaborative partnership with ESL and classroom teachers. The Policy Bridge helped provide funding for this video and worked with Leslie Babinski, Principal Investigator for the DCCS project and Associate Director of Duke’s Center for Child and Family Policy.

When asked about the impact of this video, Babinski shared:

“The DCCS video highlights the three important policy implications from our research: the need for collaboration among teachers, the value of building on students’ cultural wealth in the classroom, and the positive impact of high-impact instructional strategies on English Learners’ academic progress.  We are thrilled to be able to share this video with a wide range of stakeholders – from researchers, to principals, to teachers, to parents – to disseminate what we’ve learned from our research.”

The Policy Bridge offers small grant funding for projects that engage the connection between research and policy. You can find more information about the funding criteria here.

2016 Family Impact Seminar

fisOn September 22nd, 2016, N.C. State legislators and other guests gathered for a discussion on “The Intersections of Child Welfare and Substance Abuse: Strategies for Supporting Families.” This was the 10th in a series of Family Impact Seminars designed to provide objective, non-advocacy, solution-oriented research on timely issues selected by policymakers. The seminars encourage policymakers to consider the impact of policies on families, just as they regularly consider the impact of policies on the economy and the environment.

Seminar materials are available here.

To view a recording of the seminar, watch here.

Special thanks to Susan Foosness (Public Consulting Group) for her leadership role in planning the 2016 N.C. Family Impact Seminar.

What does science have to do with public policy? What careers exists for scientists in the policy realm? The Science and Society Huang Fellows found out with help from the Policy Bridge. The Policy Bridge led three workshop sessions that provided an overview of public policy and its relevance to the sciences. A guest speaker from the Environmental Protection Agency gave the students an example of a real-world application of science in regulatory policy: how the EPA made decisions about the regulation of mercury emissions from U.S. power plants into watersheds.

“To a person, the fellows thought the policy modules were as helpful as anything they have studied as part of the Science and Society program.”

  • Buz Waitzkin, Deputy Director, Duke Initiative for Science and Society

Interested in Policy Bridge hosting a workshop for your discipline? Click here for more information.

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