SCRiPT is establishing teams of social care practitioners and service users into Research in Practice Teams (RiPTs) – with academic support from the SCRiPT study team which are operating as Communities of Practice. The evaluation is assessing if this model can mobilise research learning and promote research that reflects the priorities and challenges of the populations they serve. Data are being collected to assess whether RiPTs have an impact on RiPT members’ research knowledge and involvement in research; create a vehicle for learning and knowledge exchange, and lead to locally relevant research being conducted. In addition, we are documenting the resources involved in delivering the RiPT model.

Once the RiPTs are established they are going to run for 2 years. Evaluation data are being collected at three time points: baseline, the midway point (12 months) and at the end (24 months). It involves a variety of qualitative and quantitative sources and it is being guided by a set of process and outcome indicators—such as whether this is a good way of developing sustainable partnerships; does it help to identify local research priorities; and how does it impact on RiPT members’ research knowledge.

We are collecting quantitative data on research activity and published research outputs as well as conducting a survey about RiPT members’ research knowledge and attitudes. We are also exploring perceived changes to the research culture of the organisations involved and research confidence of individuals through interviews and focus groups.

The outcome of our evaluation is a set of actionable recommendations to inform practice and the development of future capacity building initiatives in social care. These are being developed with our Project Advisory Group and other stakeholder including service user and carer representatives, social care commissioners and practitioners, researchers and third sector organisations.