Project Manager: Jim Wyckoff

Virginia Policy Partnerships Collaborative (VPPC): The purpose of this award is to build research infrastructure to expand partnerships with policymakers across Virginia.

Approved: Summer 2019

Project Dates: 12/01/2019 – 11/30/2022

Funding Awarded: $998,895

Executive Summary

Faculty at Batten and Curry school have been working on increasing collaboration and communication between researchers and policy makers, ensuring that policy makers have access to the important research in the field of education they need to make decisions that affect the lives of children and adults on the state and national level. The Virginia Policy Partnership Collaborative (VPPC) has already had success in engaging with public organizations that serve underserved populations. With their award, they plan to expand the VPPC to reach even more.

Current Status: Active


Over the past year, PIs collaborating with Virginia partners have leveraged this SIF funded project to substantially expand their collaborations with policy partners in Virginia and secure over $18 million in new awards. Furthermore, VPPC faculty affiliates have produced more than 15 manuscripts, 20 memos, and 15 policy briefs that flow directly from partnership activities, while involving 15 students in meaningful contributions to this work. Notably, all of this has been accomplished in the midst of the pandemic. 

Despite this progress and productivity, the pandemic has disrupted or delayed many of our original SIF-funded plans, placing increased demands on PIs and their staff as well as substantially altering provision of public education in Virginia. The strength of our partnered relationships led the Virginia Department of Education to turn to UVA for help addressing many of these pressing issues, including new educational challenges and related early childhood issues resulting from the pandemic. At the same time, we have been functioning, with our partners, under substantial stress, trying as best we can to address immediate policy and practice needs impacting children during the pandemic. 

As a result, we leveraged the VPPC which supported the building of infrastructure, cohesion, and alignment across the various partnered initiatives, which in turn enhanced our ability to support these partnered relationships for practice as well as scientific/research goals. Or plans were also delayed as a result of staffing changes in SEHD and alignment of goals across SEHD units. Professor Anita McGinty, a member of the VPPC Governing Board transitioned from UVA in July 2021. Professor Jason Downer, Professor and Director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) in SEHD was added to the Governing Board. For these reasons, we underspent VPPC funds, and thus anticipate requesting a one year no-cost extension which will allow us to build off the tremendous growth in partnered research through investments in communications and data infrastructure. We believe that over the next two years we can further leverage our demonstrated success to make additional investments that will sustain us beyond our current SIF support.