What is Policy Relevant Research?

Policy Relevance

Policy relevance refers to how effectively research findings inform decisions made by decision-makers. In other words, policy relevance is determined by how applicable and practical research findings are to decisions that need to be made on policy priorities.

To help ensure policy relevance, knowledge mobilization (KMb) is essential. KMb can be described as a “complex and emergent process that focuses on making what we know ready for action to produce value” (as defined by the Institute for Knowledge Mobilization).

The research funding mandate of PolicyWise for Children & Families (PolicyWise) is to build capacity in social science research that is relevant to public policy. We are interested in influencing actions aimed at improving the well-being of children, families and communities. The key factor in determining the policy relevance of research is whether the results could be or will inform the policy process.

Implications for Grant Applicants

To support the generation of evidence that will improve the lives of children, families, and communities in Alberta, PolicyWise offers a variety of research grants and training awards. Applicants must demonstrate how their work addresses the research priorities outlined. When applying for a grant or award, applicants will be asked to provide details on the relevance of their work, both to PolicyWise and to the Alberta Ministry of Children’s Services.

PolicyWise has developed an approach that is built on collaboration with multiple partners and stakeholders across sectors and disciplines to develop capacity, knowledge, and skill in researchers, policy makers, service providers, and families.

Grant and award applicants will need to demonstrate that they have developed partnerships with appropriate programs, community partners, policy-makers and decision-makers to ensure the research outcomes are relevant to current and emerging information needs and are in alignment with the priorities of PolicyWise and the Alberta Ministry of Children’s Services.