Open Invitation for Government Staff Members

Actionable Research

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 actionable research from Colorado government staff members.

Goal of this Call for Ideas:

Our goal is to create a pathway for government staff members to get answers to their most pressing research and analytic questions. Government 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 government staff members to better understand the key questions, identify expert research teams, and secure funding for studies.

Since its launch in 2017, the Colorado Lab has conducted projects with 22 agencies (16 at the state level), incubated the development of the Linked Information Network of Colorado (LINC), and secured approximately $7.1 million in research funding to advance the decision-making goals of state government.

Great Ideas Defined:

Government staff members’ best thinking for research that has practical value by directly informing policy or practice. These ideas can be well formulated or seeds of great ideas. We are especially interested in research ideas that are cross system.

Cross System Defined:

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

Great Ideas Submission Process:

Step 1: Government 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 research ideas.

  • Provide the name, title, and email/phone number for the primary contact person for this great idea. Must be a government staff member.
  • In a few sentences, describe the idea and why having the information is important for making informed decisions about policy or practice.
  • 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 organization 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, will prioritize great cross-system research ideas and invite government staff to continue in this process.

Step 4: Colorado Lab will partner with the government 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 government 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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