Funded by a Methods Training grant from the Institute of Education Sciences and housed within the University of Washington’s SMART Center, the Research Institute for Implementation Science in Education (RIISE) is designed to develop the implementation research workforce in schools and improve outcomes for students and their families. While there is considerable evidence for the effectiveness of a wide variety of educational curricula and school-based programs, practices, and interventions, these innovations have been slow to enter typical education settings. This gap reflects a need for implementation research that addresses the unique characteristics of school settings and the programs and practices that are the focus of implementation in that context.
RIISE aims to (1) increase the number of educational scholars who conduct research on the most effective ways to support the use evidence-based practices in school settings and (2) build a collaborative network among those researchers to drive new research innovations. In June, RIISE welcomed its first cohort of 11 Fellows – faculty from institutions all around the nation to Seattle to attend the first annual RIISE Summer Institute. Fellows were joined by RIISE Core Faculty (including PBSCI faculty Aaron Lyon, PhD, and Eric Bruns, PhD) and Expert Faculty (including PBSCI faculty Freda Liu, PhD, and Michael Pullmann, PhD) who supported them in acquiring, building fluency with, and applying implementation research knowledge and skills in their education research via five days of presentations, grant development workshops, facilitated discussions, and one-on-one meetings. Fellows will participate in two years of mentorship and training as they develop high-quality implementation studies that bridge the “last mile” in which education research fails to reach the individuals for whom it was intended. RIISE is expertly coordinated by Jodie Buntain-Ricklefs, MPH, MSW, and Vaughan Collins, MSW, from the UW SMART Center.