Research Translation

Co-leads: Judith Swift, Nathan Vinhateiro, Amber Neville; Coastal Institute at URI (CI)

The Research Translation Core (RTC) is leveraging and building upon already existing relationships and communication networks to disseminate information on PFAS and their human health impacts and STEEP’s scientific accomplishments to its stakeholders. The RTC will make STEEP’s research results and the implications of these findings readily accessible to stakeholders to assist them in understanding PFAS effects and characterizing risk. As part of the iterative process, RTC is embedding in the overall communication strategy opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback to the SRP researchers at regular intervals, and a clear timeline for researchers to provide updates in response to community concerns. As this iterative process continues, stakeholders and researchers are narrowing in on scientific questions and research strategies that are essential to management and regulatory applications.

To accomplish the overarching goal, RTC is developing targeted messages for: 1) researchers within STEEP and the broader SRP network; 2) state and federal agencies including the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, U.S. EPA, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and Tribal Councils; 3) other end-users with a focus on communities on Cape Cod, MA, and the Faroe Islands; and 4) additional groups as identified.

This core will:

  • Ensure STEEP’s results are widely disseminated guided by principles of the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change (TTM).
  • Provide information to state and federal regulators as well as industry leaders to influence the mitigation of PFAS use to protect human health.
  • Facilitate technology transfer where appropriate.
  • Synergize relationship with Community Engagement Core (CEC) to ensure dissemination of information to affected communities, and improve communication techniques of STEEP trainees, scientists, and researchers.
  • Coordinate broad-spectrum outreach and communication efforts in partnership with CEC and Training Core (TC).

RTC will adapt the message complexity to suit individual target audiences without jeopardizing the scientific rigor demanded by the investigation of emerging contaminants.