Evidence and Policy
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The potential for research to influence policy, and for researchers to influence policy actors, is significant. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of health services researchers engaging in (or not able to engage in) policy-relevant research. Semi-structured telephone interviews were completed with 23 experienced researchers.The results paint a complex and dynamic picture of the policy environment and the relationship between government officials and academic researchers. Elements of this complexity included diverse understandings of the nature of policy and how research relates to policy; dealing with multiple stakeholders in the policy-making process; and identifying strategies to manage the different cultures of government and academia.