NIDILRR Frameworks

NIDILRR Research Framework

NIDILRR uses stages of research framework (SORF) to classify and describe its funded grants, and research projects within the grants. Classification helps NIDILRR to see the bigger picture based on its research portfolio. Using SORF, NIDILRR gains insight into issues including, but not limited to: what is known and unknown about a problem; whether it is time to develop interventions to address a particular problem; whether it is to time test the efficacy of interventions; and whether it is time to "scale-up" interventions for broader use. The four stages of SORF are described below.

Exploration and discovery

The stage of research that generates hypotheses or theories through new and refined analyses of data, producing observational findings and creating other sources of research-based information. This stage may include identifying or describing the barriers to and facilitators of improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities, as well as existing practices, programs, or policies that are associated with important aspects of the lives of individuals with disabilities. Results achieved under this stage may inform the development of interventions or lead to evaluations of interventions or policies. Results may also be used to inform decisions or priorities.

Intervention development

The stage of research that focuses on generating and testing interventions with potential to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Intervention development involves determining the active components of possible interventions, developing measures that would be required to illustrate outcomes, specifying target populations, conducting field tests, and assessing the feasibility of conducting a well-designed intervention study. Results from this stage may be used to inform the design of a study to test the efficacy of an intervention.

Intervention efficacy

The stage of research during which a project evaluates and tests whether an intervention is feasible, practical, and has the potential to yield positive outcomes for individuals with disabilities. Efficacy research may assess the strength of relationships between an intervention and outcomes, and may identify factors or individual characteristics that affect the relationship. Efficacy research can inform decisions about whether there is sufficient evidence to support “scaling-up” an intervention to other sites and contexts. This stage may include assessing the training needed for wide-scale implementation of an intervention, and approaches to evaluation of the intervention in real-world applications.

Scale-up evaluation

The stage of research during which a project analyzes whether an intervention is effective in producing improved outcomes for individuals with disabilities when implemented in a real-world setting. During this stage, a project tests the outcomes of an evidence-based intervention in different settings. The project examines the challenges to successful replication of the intervention, and the circumstances and activities that contribute to successful adoption of the intervention in real-world settings. This stage may also include well-designed studies of an intervention that has been widely adopted in practice but lacks sufficient evidence to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Source: 45 CFR 1330.4

NIDILRR Development Framework

NIDILRR uses stages of development framework (SORD) to classify and describe its funded grants, and development projects within the grants. Classification helps NIDILRR to see the bigger picture based on its development portfolio. By using SORD, NIDILRR gains insight into issues including, but not limited to: whether a concept has been proven; whether a product has been proven; and whether proof of adoption exists. The three stages of SORD are described below.

Proof of concept

The stage of development where key technical challenges are resolved. Activities may include recruiting study participants; verifying product requirements; implementing and testing (typically in controlled contexts) key concepts, components, or systems; and resolving technical challenges. A technology transfer plan is typically developed and transfer partner(s) are identified; and plan implementation may have started. Stage results establish that a product concept is feasible.

Proof of product

The stage of development where a fully-integrated and working prototype, meeting critical technical requirements, is created. Activities may include recruiting study participants, implementing and iteratively refining the prototype, testing the prototype in natural or less-controlled contexts, and verifying that all technical requirements are met. A technology transfer plan is typically ongoing in collaboration with the transfer partner(s). Stage results establish that a product embodiment is realizable.

Proof of adoption

The stage of development where a product is substantially adopted by its target population and used for its intended purpose. Activities typically include completing product refinements and continued implementation of the technology transfer plan in collaboration with the transfer partner(s). Other activities include measuring users' awareness of the product; opinion of the product; decisions to adopt, use, and retain products; and identifying barriers and facilitators impacting product adoption. Stage results establish that a product is beneficial.

Source: 45 CRF 1330.5


Last modified on 05/24/2017


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