The RPC Team
The Research-to-Policy Collaboration relies on the coordinating power of a handful of staff who are supported by a range of voluntary researchers at various career stages. Working most closely on responding to opportunities to distill research related to current policy priorities are the RPC Directors, Policy Coordinator, fellows, and interns. Read below to learn more about our exceptional team.
Max Crowley, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and directs the Prevention Economics Planning and Research Program. He is an expert in economic evaluation and the financing of early childhood programs and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine's Committee on the Use of Economic Estimates to Invest in Children, Youth and Families. This work sits at the intersection of human development, economics and public policy. Dr. Crowley leads multiple efforts to increase the use of evidence in the early childhood and health space in a thoughtful manner that will protect children and the public while mobilizing new resources to support evidence-based programming. Dr. Crowley is a frequent consultant and invited speaker on the economics of prevention for initiatives around the country. This includes ongoing consultation to many Federal and State agencies. Additionally, Max's work involves utilizing advanced analytic designs, administrative data and technological solutions to optimize preventive strategies.
Taylor earned her Ph.D. in community psychology in the Health Psychology Program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research interests include broad-based promotion of well-being and success among at-risk children via community-based programs and public policy. She served for five years on the Community Research and Evaluation Team at UNCC, supporting evaluations in the context of local child-serving systems including mental health, child welfare, public housing, and education. Beginning in 2015, Taylor worked as the Policy Coordinator for the National Prevention Science Coalition (NPSC), working to support research translation on topics ranging from criminal justice to child welfare. She continued this work as Research Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University by supporting the formalization of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration model and evaluating approaches for (1) reaching Congress with research messages, (2) writing a research basis into law, and (3) enhancing policy training and engagement among researchers. Taylor now oversees the 2019 replication of the RPC and its evaluation.
Fellowship and Internship Program
Many research training programs do not offer much training with regard to how researchers can engage and support the policymaking process. Moreover, there is substantial demand among junior scholars for hands-on experiences outside of academic settings. Our fellowship and internship program offers applied training experiences for junior scholars who desire experience with research translation and/or policy research. Applications are taken on a rotating basis.
Selected Interns become involved in at least one project that contributes to their professional development goals. Fellows contribute to the broadest array of activities, and earn this status after contributing 150 hours or more (i.e., approximately one full-time practicum or internship).
Not only does this opportunity provide a valuable training experience, the talented fellows and interns who work with us have expanded our capacity to:
Respond to policymakers' requests for research evidence and identify experts in the field
Engage research experts from across the country in federal policy efforts
Support events and congressional meetings at the Capitol
Investigate how research evidence can be leveraged in legislation
Evaluate our efforts to disseminate research to policymakers
Present or publish, including peer-reviewed research papers as well as policy and practice briefs
Read more below for examples of the work from our Interns and Fellows.
Cagla Giray received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) from the University of Illinois and her B.A. in Psychology from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Her interests reside at the interface of applied developmental psychology and international development, with a focus on the promotion of child and family well-being and resilience. Cagla has substantial experience in interdisciplinary research and implementation across diverse country settings (United States, Turkey, Jamaica & South Africa). She collaborated with academic institutions, local and governmental stakeholders, and non-profit (Save the Children) and international development (World Bank) organizations supporting humanitarian programs across the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Central Asia. Cagla began working on the RPC in March 2019 as a Policy Associate and Post-Doctoral Policy Scholar, supporting the congressional outreach via periodic meetings with congressional staffers, responding legislative requests on child and family policy issues, connecting researchers and policymakers via in-person hill meetings and coaching/guiding researchers via policy training.
Azaliah Israel holds an M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Alabama and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Family Policy at the University of Arkansas. She joins our team as a skilled provider of technical assistance (TA) to human services programs and agencies, including Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood (HMRF) grantees and TANF programs. In addition to researching, analyzing, and interpreting federal and state legislation affecting fatherhood programs, she also participated in the assessment, planning, and implementation of programs and special projects concerning father engagement. Azaliah assists the RPC team in conducting introductory meetings with congressional staff to assess their research needs and identify potential researchers in our network to assist in decisions making. In addition to the recruitment researchers, she also leads the rapid response process for congressional offices following in-person meeting with in-network researchers and congressional offices. She regularly engages with research experts across the nation to coordinate the production of policy briefs for congressional offices through conferencing and in-person meetings and supervises RPC interns.