The mission of the Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab (Colorado Lab) is to improve the lives of Colorado residents by partnering with state and local governments to strengthen coordinated and efficient person-centered services. The Colorado Lab is soliciting great ideas for cross-system actionable research from Colorado state agency staff members.

Goal of this Call for Ideas:

Our goal is to create a pathway for state agency staff members to get answers to their most pressing cross-system questions. Agency staff members are experts in policy and practice, and the Colorado Lab seeks to help them answer pressing questions to improve the lives of Colorado residents. The Colorado Lab will partner with state agency staff members to better understand the key questions, identify expert research teams, and fund studies that can be conducted in 2019 and/or 2020. The Colorado Lab is committing up to $1 million in funding for research conducted during the 2019 calendar year! Additional funding is anticipated to be available to continue some projects into 2020.

Great Ideas Defined:

State agency staff members’ best thinking for cross-system research that can directly inform policy or practice. These ideas can be well formulated or seeds of great ideas. We are especially interested in research ideas that actively benefit multiple systems (in contrast to ideas that require data from multiple systems but benefit just one).

Cross System Defined:

  • Involves two or more state agencies    
  • Involves at least one state agency and one or more local government partner(s) (e.g., judicial district, county, public housing authority, school district)

Great Ideas Submission Process:

Step 1: State agency staff members submit their great ideas anytime. This is an open invitation. The goal of this process is to surface great ideas in all phases of germination that would not happen, but for this call for cross-system research ideas.

  • Provide the name, title, and email/phone number for the primary contact person for this great idea. Must be a state agency staff member. 
  • In a few sentences, describe the idea and why having the information matters across systems.
  • In a few sentences, tell us why Colorado Lab resources are needed to take make this great idea a reality. In other words, why isn’t your agency already doing this (e.g., partnerships, data sharing/linking, research expertise, time, funding, etc.)?
  • In a few sentences, what if anything, has already been accomplished to lay the groundwork for this great research idea?
  • Which of the Lab’s priorities does this idea fall under?
    • Move electric grid to renewable sources by 2040
    • Foster an economy that works for everyone
    • Fulfill every child’s potential regardless of zip code
    • Save Coloradans money on healthcare
    • Reduce recidivism for adults and juveniles
    • Prevention/intervention: child welfare, justice-involved youth
    • Cross-system solutions for Coloradans
  • Optional: In a few sentences, tell us anything else we should know before scheduling a call with you.

Step 2: Colorado Lab will schedule a call or meeting to better understand your goals and discuss feasibility and potential timeline.

Step 3: Colorado Lab, in consultation with the Governor’s Office and the Colorado Lab’s advisory board, will prioritize great cross-system research ideas and invite agency staff to continue in this process.

Step 4: Colorado Lab will partner with the state agency staff member who submitted the idea and to determine what partnerships and approvals would be needed to determine if the great idea can be actualized. This is a “Go, No Go” initial decision-making point for state agencies.

Step 5: The Colorado Lab will work with state partners to translate the idea into a scope of work, identify a research team, and develop a funding strategy to execute the project.


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