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University of Iowa

Superfund Research Program

Research Translation Core

Project Leader: Scott N. Spak
Grant Number: P42ES013661
Funding Period: 2006-2020
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2015-2020)

The Research Translation Core (RTC) works with all isrp faculty, staff and trainees to find ways to integrate strategic communication of their science into their activities. The major activities of this Core are designed to optimize opportunities for translating the findings of isrp research projects into meaningful outcomes that will benefit the public at large. These outcomes will be translated through an extensive portfolio of activities to connect to a wide and diverse set of stakeholders, including international and domestic scientists, Superfund Research Programs across the country, local, state, and federal policy-makers and the general public. The isrp employs continuous evaluation to improve each core and investigator-initiated translational activity, to enhance the integration of RTC activities, and to ensure that the RTC maximizes the potential for the isrp to improve health and environmental health policy. The aims of the RTC are to:

  1. Communicate within SRP to academic and research colleagues internationally, nationally and locally
  2. Partner with government agencies to facilitate the development of sound public policies and practices
  3. Formally transfer technology to commercial enterprises able to develop and deliver products or services to the public
  4. Contribute to a broader public understanding of problems and solutions regarding environmental hazards and their remediation through information dissemination to other end users

The Research Translation Core functions to convey the implications of isrp research to many audiences in a manner most appropriate to each. Specific innovations that distinguish isrp work are the organization of biennial international PCB workshops, outreach to and engagement of elected state legislators and their staffs, and the establishment and success of isrp rural science cafes, which bring isrp investigators and trainees to small, rural Iowa towns to engage lay audiences in learning about SRP work and how it affects their communities. These innovations are supported by a comprehensive, entrepreneurial approach to communicating results and activities to many audiences by many methods, including traditional media relations, social media, interactive web applications and decision support tools, and continuing education webinars in partnership with professional associations.

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