Research translation and communication go hand in hand. Both are crucial to increasing the effectiveness of strategies to improve public health. The NIEHS Superfund Research Program’s (SRP) definition of research translation includes sharing accomplishments, helping apply discoveries and advancements in context, and illustrating how basic research has led to economic, societal, and public health benefits.
The SRP 2020 Strategic Plan re-emphasizes the importance of research translation, communication, and developing connections that accelerate the application of research advances. Collaborating with state and local agencies, tribal governments, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, and communities affected by hazardous substances is a critical component.
Our program has a strong history of working with communities and proactively communicating scientific accomplishments to other researchers, industry, government agencies, and the public. SRP grantees create communication tools and resources to make their research discoveries more accessible to a broad range of stakeholders across the country. Designed for diverse audiences, these resources explain scientific research, inform communities about potential health threats from hazardous substances, support two-way knowledge exchange, and encourage community participation in science. Their communication toolkits utilize the most effective strategies for communities, tailoring them according to differences in regional, cultural, educational, linguistic, and other demographic factors to maximize effectiveness.
Based on our workshop, Risk Communication Strategies to Reduce Exposures and Improve Health, this edition's feature highlights examples of how SRP researchers are working to get science into the hands of people who can use it through resources, tools, connections, and collaborations. Many of these will be featured in the upcoming Risk e-Learning webinar series on the same topic. With an emphasis on designing culturally appropriate messages, advancing equity and justice, and continual evaluation and improvement, SRP grantees are well positioned to be at the forefront of the intersection of research and application.