Participating NPSC Members, Researchers and Practitioners

Benefits for Participation


  • Professional Development:  Oftentimes our training institutions focus on conducting research, a valuable skill, but focus too little time on how to communicate research with decision makers. This opportunity will provide participants with opportunities to learn and practice skills for public policy experience. 

  • Informing future research:  The divide between research and policy / practice is a two way street. We expect that new research questions may develop over time based on what we learn from our policy arena colleagues. It is essential that we find ways for our research to be responsive to the needs of decision makers.

  • Community Engaged Scholarship:  Many institutions are begining to embrace policies that reward activities that transcend traditional academic endeavors such as peer reviewed publications. Participation in research translation activites that are responsive to the needs of decision-makers is a high level of community-engaged scholarship. Individuals who would like a letter of recommendation for their institution's records should contact Taylor Scott.

  • Intrinsic reward:  Even when institutions do not recognize the value of community engagement and research translation, we recognize the need to connect research with decision makers for it to truly have value. Voluntarily contributing to activities that bridge the research to policy / practice divide is worth more than recognition - it is an essential value of this work that propels us forward. 

  • Networking:  The opportunities for networking are endless. Like most networking endeavors, there are no guarantees what tangible benefits might ensue, but there is certainly potential for generating leads for future collaboration. For example:

    • Policy arena consutation via briefings, model legislation, or expert testimonial 

    • Community consultation regarding the implementation of legislation and other change efforts

    • Research collaborations informed by mutual interests and needs identified in collaboration with Congressional offices



Selection Process


NPSC has been working to enhance its internal capacity to recognize the assets and expertise of its members. Members expertise and intersts are catalogued via the member registration process. Members who have indicated an expertise in a subject relevant to crime prevention (e.g., juvenile justice, education) will be asked to participate in the rapid response network. 


The rapid response network will be comprised of individuals who agree to be involved in processes that may lead to collaboration with government offices. The primary mechanism for this group's operation will be a discussion forum, which will post government offices' requests for information (e.g., research on a specific topic) and opportunities to prepare for rapid response involvement, including webinars and group meetings. There will be opportunities for building connections and collaborating with Congressional offices presented to the entire network during the duration of the RPC. Although only a handful of participants will be able to attend a face-to-face meeting coordinated as part of this project, there are a wide range of needs that will extend beyond the expertise and capacity of those selected for that event. Therefore, the NPSC recognizes the value of members' participation in the network regardless of the ability to connect individuals face-to-face. Options for coordinating virtual meetings with offices are currently being explored.  


7 - 10 reserachers and practitioners will be asked to become part of the Rapid Response Team (RRT), who will be asked to travel to Washington D.C. for a day and a half of meetings with Congressional offices. These individuals will be selected based on their relevant expertise and alignment with Congressional offices' needs, commitment demonstrated in preparing for the event (e.g., attending webinars), participating in relevant discussions in the rapid response network, and availability for the date of the meeting. It is anticipated that the existing NPSC budget will be able to support only a proportion of travel costs endured by participants, which is why we are currently seeking sponsorships from affiliate organizations.


Expectations and Commitments


Members participating in the rapid response network will be asked to commit time to several processes that allow us to understand your expertise and how that aligns with congressional needs and prepare you for collaboration with Congressional and other government offices. Additionally, you may be asked to participate in interviews with someone from outside the NPSC who will ask about your experiences. The information gleaned in interviews will enable the NPSC to improve these efforts and may provide information useful for replication, continuity, or expansion. 


The following list describes opportunities for involvement:


  • Participation in the Rapid Response Network:

    • Expertise Assessment - We will seek to supplement the information we have about your skills and expertise via brief surveys. For example, do you have experience or knowledge related to drug courts? Assessments will continue as needed through March 2016 as a means for identifying individuals with expertise that align with the needs indicated by Congressional offices.  

    • Trainings and Webinars - Digital meetings are the cornerstone of the professional development aspect of this initiative. We recognize that our members have varying levels of policy-related experience and invite individuals of all levels of experience to participate. Those with less experience can benefit from the wisdom of those of you with experience! There are approximately six trainings expected to be held between February 22 - March 28. Recordings of webinars will be provided on the website. Specific dates and times of the webinars are to be determined. 

    • Responses to requests for information - The number of requests for information are expected to expand beyond the capacity and expertise of a handful of participants. Requests for information will be posted via the discussion forum, which will aid in identifying opportunities for connecting offices and network members both for digital collaboration and for the Rapid Response Event. 


  • Participation in the Rapid Response Event (if selected and available):

    • Meeting Day - Approximately four researchers will be grouped together to form a RRT (two teams total) that will meet with participating offices for one hour each (four meetings for each team). This meeting will focus on developing a brief strategic plan for addressing needs identified by Congressional offices. Following each meeting, the RRT will meet for 30 minutes to debrief and ensure adequate notes are captured. The meeting date has not yet been determined, but is expected to occur in April 2016.

      • Commencement Event - An event will be held the evening prior to the meeting day to allow participating offices' staff and Congresspersons to meet and greet with RRT members. A full meal, wine and beer will be served.

      • Reception - Following the meetings between the NPSC teams and Congressional offices, a reception will be held to celebrate the successes of the meetings and to connect informally over hor d'oeuvres and drinks. Participating offices and researchers are invited.   

    • Follow-up on the strategic plan - This event is expected to be the springboard for developing long-lasting, working relationships. The project coordinator, Taylor Scott, will periodically contact you and collaborating offices to ask about the progress that has been made and what can be done to support additional progress. Follow-up will occur for approximately three months, through July.

    • Interviews in person or by phone (per your availability) will be conducted twice:

      • Immediately following the event

      • Three months following the event


How to Get Involved


The primary mechanism for outreach to prospective rapid response members is through the information collected at registration. Make sure you complete this information. If you are concerned that you have not received the expected outreach regarding this opportunity or if you have further questions, please contact Taylor Scott.


Webinar Recordings

Webinar 1:  Introduction to RPC 

Webinar 2:  Developing Trusting Relationships with Congressional Offices


Webinar 3:  Engaging in Legislative Processes

Webinar 4:  Lobbying and Advocacy

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