The importance of basing public policy on sound scientific evidence is increasingly being recognized, yet many barriers continue to slow the translation of prevention research into legislative action. This work reports on the feasibility of a model for overcoming these barriers-known as the Research-to-Policy Collaboration (RPC). The RPC employs strategic legislative needs assessments and a rapid response researcher network to accelerate the translation of research findings into usable knowledge for policymakers. Evaluation findings revealed that this model can successfully mobilize prevention scientists, engage legislative offices, connect policymakers and experts in prevention, and elicit congressional requests for evidence on effective prevention strategies. On average, the RPC model costs $3510 to implement per legislative office. The RPC can elicit requests for evidence at an average cost of $444 per request. The implications of this work, opportunities for optimizing project elements, and plans for future work are discussed. Ultimately, this project signals that the use of scientific knowledge of prevention in policymaking can be greatly augmented through strategic investment in translational efforts.
Keywords: Cost-effectiveness; Evidence-based policy; Preventive intervention; Translational research; Use of evidence.