Full topic list
This is a session of Topic 1: Data and context in statistics education: towards an evidence-based society

(Friday 16th, 11:00-12:30)

The researcher/practitioner gap



An important goal of many graduate programs in empirical sciences is to deliver graduates who are interested in research as well as practice and who are able to integrate science and practice into a body of skills, knowledge, and professional attitudes. Basing professional activities on scientific evidence is a cornerstone in an evidence-based society. Literature indicates that graduate students and professionals lack interest in research and as a consequence do not keep up with nor incorporate reported research results. This often-cited “research-practice gap” is described as the tendency of practitioners to ignore research findings and of scientists to study questions irrelevant to practice or to fail to disseminate findings in an accessible manner. This dilemma is facing many applied fields, such as medicine, psychology, education, sociology, social sciences and policy-making in general (governments, industry).

As early as in 1979 Gelso identified ingredients of the research training environment that he believed could be manipulated to enhance graduate students’ interest in and positive attitudes toward research and also their eventual research productivity. Originally Gelso (1979) used a narrow conception of statistics and proposed untying statistics from research, such that students’ favourable attitude toward research could be promoted by separating the teaching of research design and the logic of science from a technical knowledge of quantitative methods. However, Gelso et al. (1996) reformulated this concept as “teaching relevant statistics and the logic of design”.

The focus in this session is on the role of statistics programs in bridging the researcher/practitioner gap. The following kinds of questions will be addressed: How can statistics programs promote a favourable attitude towards evidence based quantitative research? How can statistics programs promote self-efficacy in doing quantitative research?


PaperTitlePresenter(s) / Author(s)
1D1Communicating the joy of the practice-research marriage in statisticsEls Goetghebeur (Belgium)
1D2Moving statistics education closer to the center of the undergraduate educationDavid Harrington (United States)
Joseph Blitzstein (United States)
1D3Bridging the researcher-practitioner gap: views from different fieldsGabriella Belli (United States)