Research Practice Partnerships

The Partnership for Public Education advocates for and supports research-practice partnerships as a way of strengthening relationships between UD and the Delaware public education system.  Learn more about RPPs and our work below!

What is an RPP and why are RPPs important?

A research practice partnership (RPP) is a collaborative and mutually-beneficial partnership that is responsive to the needs of both researchers and practitioners and their shared commitments to improving educational opportunities and outcomes. This approach to research is critically important for addressing a number of historical and contemporary challenges to the use of research in policy or practice.  RPPs and other forms of collaborative education research promote the generation of rigorous, relevant, and actionable evidence based on research and policy/practice knowledge.  They can also promote more respectful, trusting, and equitable relationships between members of the research community; increase researcher capacity for conducting and communicating policy or practice relevant research; and increase policy/practice systems and capacity for evidence use. 

Read this white paper on Research Practice Partnerships to learn more about how University and K12 partnerships can leverage research for educational improvement!

Kristen Davidson of the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice summarizes research findings on the benefits of RPPs – What Happens When Educators and Researchers Work Together in Partnership?

Are there RPPs connected with UD?

There are many RPPs associated with UD!  Some of them are PPE-facilitated, and others are led by faculty.

PPE-facilitated RPPs include:

  • The Delaware Early Literacy Research Practice Partnership (DEL RPP)
  • The Research Practice Partnership for Professional Learning in Early Mathematics (RPLEM)

Some other examples are:

  • Assistant Professor Dr. Joshua Wilson, School of Education, and Dr. Gaysha Beard, Red Clay Consolidated School District, write on how addressing issues of mutual concern and interest between research and practice serves to bridge gaps in the educational community.

Where can I access resources on RPPs?

  • The NNERP clearinghouse contains extensive resources on RPPs from launching to effectiveness, and including special topics such as ESSA and partnering with SEAs.
  • WT Grant Foundation offers high quality resources on topics ranging from how to structure a partnership, develop a joint research agenda, develop data sharing agreements, communication of research, and assessing partnerships.
  • Explore a straightforward guide map on the RPP process from the Research and Practice Collaboratory.
  • Watch 6 modules on RPPs featuring Bill Penuel in the RPP Forum from the Research and Practice Collaboratory.  

How can PPE help you develop an RPP?

PPE can utilize our extensive P12 network to facilitate introductions with education partners and help foster the relationships which support mutually beneficial partnerships. We can also provide you with the latest, high-quality resources and tools, to help you tailor an approach to fit your research goals. Some examples of our support include:

  • Facilitating relationship building with key partners
  • Stakeholder mapping to identify potential partners
  • Supporting grant proposal development
  • Partnership development and management
  • Partnership evaluation

Interested in learning more? Contact us at