Sarah is a global expert working at the interface between social research, policy and practice. She is Co-Director (Knowledge Exchange) at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, where she has led pioneering work to facilitate ways in which research on families and relationships can have maximum impact. She is a Director of What Works Scotland, leading on the evidence to action stream that aims to increase ways that local authorities can use evidence to develop public services. She is also the Director (KERI) for the Usher Institute of Public Health and Informatics, and has carried out impact analysis for the UK Economic and Social Science Research Council, and UNICEF.
Sarah has been an Associate Editor of the Journal Evidence and Policy since 2014. She is an associate of the Research Unit for Research Utilisation, and a was member of the Scottish Funding Council’s working group on Knowledge Exchange and Public Policy. She has been the Knowledge Exchange Advisor for two UK-wide ESRC Centres: Timescapes and the Centre for Population Change, and is currently advising a research group from the University of Toronto on their KE strategy.
Sarah’s research has investigated the process of assessing the impact of research on policy and practice, and on ways of understanding complex change. She specialises in contribution analysis and uses this approach in a variety of projects, often working with non-academic partners. She has developed a research synthesis service for the children and family sector, and has been working on the issues of research partnerships.