National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

Specialized TA Services

Peer Consultant Service


NCDDR is offering a "Peer Consultant" service for NIDRR grantees. This service is designed to provide researcher-to-researcher consultation to assist researchers who are addressing knowledge development in one of the three stages identified by NIDRR: (Stage 1) discoveries and descriptions; (Stage 2) theories, measures, and methods; and (Stage 3) interventions, products or devices, and environmental adaptations. The NCDDR will rely on a pool of experts from its cadre of consultants to answer questions.

What type of questions can be asked?

The NCDDR relies on peer consultants with expertise in several areas of research design and methodology, including sampling, statistical techniques, and psychometrics, and in other areas relevant to research quality and design. All questions must be described in relation to the type of knowledge the research is designed to produce. All NIDRR research should generate Stage 1, 2, or 3 knowledge.

Can you explain Stages 1, 2, and 3 of knowledge development?

One of the primary goals of scientific research is to create or develop new knowledge. However, all knowledge development is not the same. Many scholars and institutes, including National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), have discussed knowledge development stages that are typically generated by scientific research.

For NIDRR, these "stages relate to the types of objectives and end products that grantees are expected to pursue. These stages include: (1) discoveries and descriptions; (2) theories, measures, and methods; and (3) interventions, products or devices, and environmental adaptations".

NIDRR suggests that the stages of knowledge development are interrelated. Typically "research begins with significant discoveries (stage one) and moves through theory, measure, and method development (stage two) ultimately to enable the development of effective new and improved interventions, products and devices, and environmental adaptations (stage three). In this context, a product may be a new device or technique. An adaptation may include methods to improve physical, behavioral, or virtual environments." More information about the stages of knowledge development are included in the NIDRR 2005-2009 Long Range Plan.

How does the service work?

Upon receiving your question, the NCDDR will coordinate with our peer consultants to provide you with a response. Most correspondence is conducted via e-mail, though some consultation is conducted by phone.

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NCDDR is funded by the
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Project Number: H133A060028
U.S. Department of Education