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About the RAC

The Research to Action Collaboratory serves as a catalyst for research teams, building their transformational collaborative capacity to address today’s most pressing urban challenges.

The RAC combines financial support, thought partnership, and skill-building to increase the capacity of scholars, community stakeholders, and the UW for impactful, collaborative research.

Today’s most pressing problems—from climate change to community cohesion to regional sustainability—are defined by interdependence, and impacts across communities and scales. These complex issues cannot be solved by one field or perspective alone. Scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and community partners need to work together across disciplines, sectors, and other boundaries. Yet, it is challenging for people to work together across silos and differences, whether within the university, across organizations, or among sectors. Access to collaboration tools and approaches can be hard to obtain, or can come with prescriptive constraints that undercut the power of teamwork to generate new, emergent solutions. But we know that with dedicated up-front time; nimble thought partnership; and capacity-building tools including facilitated team-building, access to skill development for more effective collaboration, and flexible funding, cross-boundary teams can turn co-created ideas into implementable solutions.

To meet those needs, the Research to Action Collaboratory (RAC) offers a targeted and flexible combination of dedicated time and space, seed project funding, and ongoing coaching and tools for collaboration.The RAC catalyzes project-based efforts while at the same time serves as persistent infrastructure to support future collaborative research. Our goal is to light the way in reshaping the university pattern of one-off, siloed projects into the super-powered collaborations that we need in order to safeguard our region, support a sustainable human population, and foster healthy, vibrant, equitable, and prosperous communities. As a unique and complementary effort at UW, and building on years of investment and collective learning, the RAC models, in measurable ways, capacity-building and barrier removal for cross-boundary collaborative research.

The initial funding for the Research to Action Collaboratory has been provided by the Bullitt Foundation, a longtime funder of critical collaborative research across the Emerald Corridor. As future funding allows, the scope of the RAC and its programming will expand to reflect a broad range of urban challenges and opportunities.

Learn more about our Request for Applications!

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