Rigor, Relevance & Responsibility

Academics in the field of international relations find themselves in a difficult moment. Many face mounting pressure and inducements to engage with policymakers and in the policy process, and many are working to facilitate constructive academic-policy engagement. Yet, academics receive little training about the ethical considerations these activities engender.

This program, titled "Rigor, Relevance, and Responsibility," is designed to make ethical considerations an integral part of policy-relevant research and engagement. The program develops knowledge around, and informs the practice of, responsible engagement so that future generations of academics can engage in the policy world with confidence and clarity.

The Responsible Public Engagement Institute

The Sié Center at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies is excited to announce the Responsible Public Engagement Institute. This Institute will address challenges around both direct engagement with policy actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research to policy audiences.

The Institute is geared toward early-career academics from various disciplinary backgrounds and taught by experienced academics from the Josef Korbel School and other institutions. The Institute will be held Tuesday, September 15 – Friday, September 18, 2020, at the University of Denver. All costs associated with travel, lodging, and meals for participants will be covered by the Sié Center via generous support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Anonymous Advice on the Ethics of Engagement

The Anonymous Advice on Responsible Engagement platform digitally convenes a wide-ranging panel of experienced policy-engaged scholars from the field of international relations to respond to anonymous questions about academic-policy engagement.

This interactive resource is meant to provide candid advice and build a knowledge base to assist academics in interacting responsibly and constructively with governmental and nongovernmental policy actors at all stages of research, from developing policy-relevant questions to disseminating findings to policy audiences. 

  • Working Group on Responsible Engagement Workshop - May 2019

    The goal of this workshop was to inform and craft the design of a curriculum packet for the 2020 Issues in Responsible Public Engagement Institute. The three-day institute was designed for international relations scholars and dedicated to addressing responsible policy engagement. As a complement to existing "bridging the gap" training programs for early-career international relations scholars, the institute will address challenges around both navigating direct engagement with different sets of policy consequential actors at various stages of the research process and disseminating research for policy audiences.

Project Partners

For this program, the Sié Center will partner with two institutions—the Global Research Institute at the College of William & Mary and the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs—and a number of scholars from other institutions.

The program is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its "Rigor and Relevance Initiative" aimed at improving the transfer of research and expertise between higher education and the policy world in the area of global affairs.

Research Team

  • Deborah Avant, Professor and Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy 
  • George DeMartino, Professor
  • Rachel Epstein, Professor 
  • Cullen Hendrix, Professor
  • Jill Hereau
  • Oliver Kaplan, Associate Professor
  • Julia Macdonald, Assistant Professor 
  • Tricia Olsen, Associate Professor
  • Timothy Sisk, Professor