NIOSH Translation Research Program
Compared with other workplace safety and health efforts, translation research is a new field without a large base of scientific papers. NIOSH created the Translation Research Program in 2016 to nurture, promote, and coordinate translation research. The program, one of NIOSH’s Core and Specialty Programs, coordinates research and helps NIOSH and others transform research into practical, useful measures. This program also works to make research outcomes easier to understand and more useful for employers intermediaries, and others who decide on workplace health and safety actions. The program builds on previous NIOSH health communication work and research into effective interventions. It also includes research on social and behavioral science topics and on how scientific innovations spread and become practical benefits to society.
The research-to-practice process starts with research and ends with useful innovations. The Translation Research Program’s efforts focus on the research-to-practice continuum to learn how to make any given step better and how to improve its impact. The goal is to develop relevant, widely applied knowledge that creates a safer and healthier work environment.
This work faces challenges, however:
- Identifying translation research priorities, to focus limited resources yet achieve maximum impact
- Focusing on how decision-makers get and use workplace safety and health information, as well as barriers that prevent such information from reaching those who need it
- Finding which approaches work best in making safety and health research products that will have the most effective benefits.
The Translation Research Council, drawn from experts across NIOSH, advises the Translation Research Program. The program includes work within NIOSH and by other organizations. NIOSH continues to gather translation research, promote goals for internal research competitions, and develop the skills of staff. Its work outside the institute may include offering dedicated funding opportunities and developing and promoting training for translation research.