Researchers awarded for translating research into evidence-based policymaking

Max Crowley
Max Crowley

SAN FRANCISCO — The Society for Prevention Research (SPR) recently recognized two Penn State researchers for their significant impacts in the field of prevention science, at its annual meeting in San Francisco.

Max Crowley, assistant professor of human development and family studies and director of the Social Science Research Institute’s Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative, and Taylor Scott, assistant research professor in the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, were the recipient of the SPR’s Public Service Award.

“The Public Service Award is given in recognition of extensive and effective advocacy for prevention science and research-based programs,” said Leslie Leve, president of the SPC. “Dr. Crowley and Dr. Scott have made exemplary contributions in this regard, including leading major efforts to communicate the value, methods and positive outcomes of prevention research to policy makers and practitioners nationwide.”  

Past recipients of the SPR Public Service Award include former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge; National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, and SPR co-founder William Bukoski.

Crowley, Scott and their research team developed the Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RCP) model, which builds key skills among the research community to work collaboratively with policymakers to enact evidence-based policies. The model is now being implemented at the federal and state level.

The team continues to investigate ways to increase evidence-based policymaking by providing researchers and legislative staff with the skills and opportunity to work together. Findings from a recent project revealed that the model can increase researchers’ efficacy for working with legislative offices and may be a cost-effective approach for connecting researchers and policymakers. Read more about this initiative here.     

Through the RPC fellowship program, Crowley and Scott have provided experiential training to over 30 doctoral students from universities across the country, training which provides opportunities to translate science into evidence-based policy-making focusing on under-represented groups.

“I am deeply honored to receive the award,” said Crowley. “It represents our team’s commitment to growing the science of improving the use of research and training the next generation of scholars to effectively engage in impactful translational research.”

Members of Crowley and Scott’s research team include Elizabeth Long, Carla Giray and Shannon Guilliot-Wright, all of Penn State. The team also includes collaborations with Lauren Supplee and Elizabeth Jordan of Child Trends; as well as Kathryn Oliver, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Department of Sociology and Public Health.

Support for Crowley and Scott’s work is being provided by the William T. Grant Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, a seed grant from the Social Science Research Institute, and funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and National Prevention Science Coalition.