Building research integration and implementation expertise

Expertise in research integration and implementation is an essential but often overlooked component of tackling complex societal and environmental problems. This research:

  • examines tasks essential to developing a more comprehensive understanding of complex problems, and for taking action on them by using that research evidence to support government policy, community practice, business innovation, or other initiatives. Specific elements include managing lack of clear problem limits, contested problem definitions, unresolvable unknowns, and real-world constraints on action, all of which make solutions partial and temporary.
  • explores where expertise in research integration and implementation can currently be found, especially in: 1) specific approaches, including interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, systems thinking, action research, and sustainability science; 2) case-based experience, independent of these specific approaches; and 3) research considering unknowns and fostering innovation. Currently fragmentation precludes clear identification of research integration and implementation expertise.
  • explores whether and how a knowledge bank could be a conduit to building expertise.

This project was developed by a core group of plenary speakers from the 2013 First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation and has produced the following paper:

Bammer, G., O’Rourke, M., O’Connell, D., Neuhauser, L., Midgley, G., Klein, J.T., Grigg, N.J., Gadlin, H., Elsum, I.R., Bursztyn, M., Fulton, E.A., Pohl, C., Smithson, M., Vilsmaier, U., Bergmann, M., Jaeger, J., Merkx, F., Vienni Baptista, B., Burgman, M.A., Walker, D.H., Young, J., Bradbury, H., Crawford, L., Haryanto, B., Pachanee, C., Polk, M., Richardson, G.P. 2020 ‘Expertise in research integration and implementation for tackling complex problems: when is it needed, where can it be found and how can it be strengthened?’ Palgrave Communications 6, 5. doi:10.1057/s41599-019-0380-0 and

This paper provides the foundation for a special article collection in the journal Humanities and Social Sciences Communications (formerly Palgrave Communications):