The William T. Grant Foundation in New York City has announced the next phase in its research focus on improving outcomes for young people.
From 2009 through 2015, the foundation funded efforts to increase understanding of how research evidence is acquired, understood, and used, as well as the circumstances that shape its use in decision making — including the importance of cultivating trusting relationships among researchers, intermediaries, and decision makers, and of establishing structural supports. Starting in 2016, the foundation's focus will shift from understanding how and under what conditions research evidence is used to understanding how to create those conditions.
As part of this new focus, the foundation will support studies that identify, create, and/or test actionable strategies designed to improve the use of existing research; identify, create, and/or test incentives, structures, and relationships that facilitate the production of more useful research evidence; and/or test the assumption that using high-quality research in particular ways improves decision making and youth outcomes. For the updated research grants application guidelines (18 pages, PDF) and supplementary guidance (13 pages, PDF), visit the William T. Grant Foundation website.
"Understanding the problem of research use is not enough," the foundation stated. "As we embark on the next phase of this initiative, we want to support studies of how to improve the use of research evidence in ways that benefit youth."