Introduction: The Partners with Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers (TTURCs) initiative was a transdisciplinary team-building program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to expand the policy research capacity of the TTURCs. EXPANSION INTO POLICY RESEARCh: Policy research activities at the TTURCs fell into four broad domains: (a) health services research, (b) examination of the business case for cessation treatment and funding, (c) collaborative teams with key stakeholders, and (d) direct assessment of smoking-related policies. Examples of each domain are presented.
Outcomes: Goals of the initiative included efforts to foster collaborative, transdisciplinary research, to bring new investigators into the field, to develop programs of policy research, to answer next-step translational questions, and to enhance awareness of policy relevance. Success at meeting each of these goals is discussed.
Recommendations: We offer recommendations for incorporating programs of policy research into full-spectrum transdisciplinary research initiatives, including the roles of research teams, senior researchers, infrastructure, stakeholders, and communications activities.
Conclusions: The TTURC Partners initiative represented a first-generation effort to fill the gap between scientific discovery and research translation through expansion into policy studies. While all aspects of the effort were not equally successful, the effort demonstrated that it is possible to develop successful collaborations that extend more basic and applied research into studies that examine their policy and practice implications.