Projects

Since RURU was founded, core team members have been involved in a wide range of projects on research utilisation and knowledge mobilisation. A selection of our work is listed below.

  • In September 2021 RURU Director Vicky Ward and Mark Monaghan (University of Birmingham) were jointly awarded a Parliamentary Academic Fellowship by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) at the UK Parliament. POST sources reliable and up-to-date research evidence for the UK Parliament and acts as a bridge between research and policy. Basing themselves in the Knowledge Exchange Unit within POST, Vicky and Mark will spend 12 months mapping the global landscape of mechanisms for providing scientific advice to legislatures and examining how different advice mechanisms operate. Drawing on their extensive research on knowledge exchange and evidence use they aim to increase understanding of legislative science advice mechanisms across the world, illustrate the range of approaches to LSA globally and enable the UK parliament to build global connections with other LSA mechanisms.  
  • Between January 2018 and June 2020 the RURU team (Vicky Ward, Huw Davies, Benet Reid, Tricia Tooman) were involved in an NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research-funded project: Optimising the impact of health services research on the organisation and delivery of health services; a study of embedded models of knowledge co-production in the NHS (Embedded). Please visit the project website for more information about this project.
  • From January 2013-June 2014 the RURU team (Huw Davies, Sandra Nutley, Alison Powell) undertook an NIHR Health Services & Delivery Research funded project: ‘Mobilising knowledge to improve health care’. The project aimed to map the knowledge mobilisation approaches being used by major research funders, producers and intermediaries in health care, social care and education, to explore their connections with the literature and to collate the formal and informal learning from these activities. Please see here for more details.
  • In 2011, RURU was funded by NES Education Scotland to provide a review and synthesis of knowledge-to-action frameworks and implementation strategies. The resulting review provides an annotated reference list of key knowledge-to-action frameworks, an explication of knowledge-to-action frameworks in operation and an annotated reference list of key literature resources and evidence-informed reviews on implementation strategies and challenges. Further information can be found in Davies HTO, Powell A, Ward V and Smith S (2011) Supporting NHS Scotland in developing a new Knowledge-to-Action Model, University of St Andrews.
  • In 2010, members of RURU were funded by the Health Foundation to explore of a wide repertoire of approaches to communicating and influencing through research. The resulting review concluded that many of the practices around the sharing of social research are stuck in ‘information-telling’ mode and fail to draw on approaches from other fields that are concerned with influencing deeper beliefs, values, assumptions or mental models. The review scoped out some of these other areas of ‘influencing’ and considered their relevance for the communication of social research. The conclusion was that, despite some attendant risks, there is scope for using a wider repertoire of approaches to communicating social research findings. Further information can be found in Davies HTO and Powell AE (2012) Communicating social research findings more effectively: what can we learn from other fields? Evidence & Policy, 8(2): 215-35.
  • A project on ‘Evidence & Scrutiny’ was funded by the Nuffield Foundation in 2008- 09. The project explored how audit, inspection and scrutiny work both generates and uses evidence, the extent to which a more or less evidence-informed approach underpins its changing role, and how its use of evidence might be improved.Sandra Nutley worked on this project with Dr Ruth Levitt and William Solesbury (both associates of King’s College London) and Professor Steve Martin (Cardiff University). For more information see two key publications from this project: Nutley SM, Levitt R, Martin S, Solesbury W (2012) Scrutinising performance: How assessors reach judgements about public services, Public Administration, 90(4) and Levitt R, Martin S, Nutley S and Solesbury W (2010), Evidence for accountability: Using evidence in the audit, inspection and scrutiny of UK government, Briefing Paper, London: Nuffield Foundation.