In addition to our research activities, we take great efforts to ensure that research findings are shared with scholars, policymakers, and practitioners, both within and beyond the academic community, in order to maximize the impact of our work.  

Making Research Matter

In 2018, Dr. Tropp edited a book entitled “Making Research Matter: A psychologist’s guide to public engagement” (APA Books), to serve as a resource for academic researchers who seek to make their work more accessible and useful in addressing real-world concerns. We hope this book will help future generations of researchers to develop greater confidence and skill in sharing their research with non-academic audiences, developing effective collaborations with the communities they wish to reach, and enabling those with prior engagement experience to broaden the domains in which they work.

Book Info

Collaborating with Non-Governmental Organizations

Dr. Tropp regularly engages with practitioners and community partners, in order to enhance our collective efforts to promote reconciliation between groups and peaceful responses to intergroup conflict.  In recent years, she has embarked on a range of collaborations with non-governmental organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions designed to foster dialogue, mutual acceptance and understanding, and prospects for reconciliation in divided societies. With her students and colleagues from different parts of the world, she has worked with organizations such as:

  •  Karuna Center for Peacebuilding,  an organization that works to foster reconciliation, interrupt cycles of  violence, and strengthen community resilience through collaborations with local partners in conflict-affected areas, including Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina
  •  UnaGlobal, an international, multi-disciplinary network of researchers  and practitioners that has worked to reduce racial and ethnic divisions in early childhood 
  • Bridge 4 Unity, an interracial dialogue and cultural exchange project that brings together distinct communities with diverse cultural, social,  historical, and political profiles 

Working with Policy Advocates

Dr. Tropp has been invited to present at Congressional briefings and seminars on topics ranging from the psychology of prejudice and discrimination, to immigration poicy and social exclusion, to discriminatory forms of racial profiling. She currently serves as a research advisor for several policy-oriented organizations, including:

  • Equal Justice Society, an organization that combines legal advocacy, outreach, and coalition building to restore constitutional safeguards against discrimination 
  • Perception Institute, a consortium of researchers, advocates, and strategists who translate cutting-edge mind science research on racial, ethnic, and gender identities into solutions that reduce bias 
  • National Coalition on School Diversity, a national network that advocates for and creates experiences, practices, models, and policies that promote diversity and integration in schools and reduce racial and economic isolation in K-12 education  
  • Beyond Conflict, an organization that works with scientists and community  leaders to apply lessons from behavioral science to promote racial justice and inclusion, conflict resolution and reconciliation, and other efforts toward positive social change 

Informing Legal Cases

Along with social scientists from a variety of disciplines, Dr. Tropp has been actively involved in translating research on intergroup relations for civil rights litigators, public defenders, and the courts.  Working with the Civil Rights Project, she served as part of an expert review panel for amicus curiae briefs prepared in Fisher v. Texas (2016), a case presented to the U.S. Supreme Court concerning affirmative action in higher education and the use of race in university admissions. She has also served as an expert reviewer for amicus curiae briefs submitted in earlier cases concerning school-based racial integration programs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District, 2006), and to the U.S. Courts of Appeals (Comfort v. Lynn School Committee, 2004). 

In addition, her work has been cited in briefs submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and state courts for earlier influential cases involving affirmative action and race in university admissions (Grutter v. Bollinger et al., 2003; Gratz/Hamacher v. Bollinger et al., 2003), racial segregation in housing (Township of Mt. Holly v. Mt Holly Gardens Citizens, 2013), and LGBT rights (Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, 2000; Lawrence and Garner v. State of Texas, 2003; Marriage Cases – State of California, 2007). 

Public Engagement Project

At UMass Amherst, Dr. Tropp is Co-Director and a Founding Member of the Public Engagement Project (PEP), a faculty-driven collaboration among academic researchers from many schools and colleges across the UMass campus.  We organize panels and workshops to help faculty learn how to effectively share their work with a range of non-academic audiences.