Research Synthesis Process

Research synthesis is a facilitated design process that combines the latest research with local expertise to collaboratively develop practical ideas for addressing industry based challenges.

Over a two-day workshop, we explore the problem and agree on the shared parameters and language around it, and then arrive at solid, tangible propositions for solving the problem, with benefits and costs clearly defined. We essentially make the problem and its solutions real for stakeholders, so they have a clear path forward.

Our National Engagement Manager, Jamie Ewert, says it’s the collaborative nature of research synthesis that gets results quickly.

‘We know planning for innovation and for water sensitive cities can take a really long time, because it’s complex.

‘Research synthesis is a process of bringing people together—different stakeholder groups, end users groups, and researchers—to fast track the generation of new insights into how research can be applied in a day-to-day format.

‘We bring to the table the people who need to make the decisions, to help them to agree on the shared problems and on what they’re going to do to fix those problems’.

Jamie says different researchers from different disciplines (scientists, engineers, planners, lawyers, economists etc.) are all experts in their own domains, but the magic happens when they cross over into other domains to generate insights they can use and translate into ideas for the project.

‘Research synthesis breaks down barriers between disciplines, and that’s why outcomes are usually achieved within a short timeframe,’ he said.

The two-day research synthesis workshop begins by considering the site and the project context, and then explores the research and the key ideas of the participants. The final practical and tangible ideas are collated and pitched in a ‘Shark Tank’ style format.

Jamie believes the process gains an edge when senior executives create a receptive environment from the outset which anticipates collaboration and innovation: ‘This tends to speed up implementation after the workshop’.

Our new video explains the entire research synthesis process, to make it easy for end users to understand how it might relate to, and benefit, their project.

You can download reports for these recent examples of our research synthesis work:

And you can read all about our most recent research synthesis work, in the Liverpool local government area in Greater Sydney, in this article.

We aim to do about 10 research synthesis projects each year, and we welcome nominations of projects and case studies. If you have an idea, please speak with your CRCWSC regional manager to have it added to our program.

For more information about research synthesis in general, contact Jamie Ewert (