Getting Started


We are fast, we are free, and we focus on research that matters to you. BetaGov promotes practitioner-led research that tests locally generated advances in education, criminal justice, health, and human services. We currently support more than 200 randomized controlled trials across a dozen states. One trial at a time, we are changing the way knowledge is created in the public sector.

Tell Us About Your Trial Idea

BetaGov can help you develop randomized controlled trials that will test your ideas for improving services and outcomes. Please fill out the form to get started.




Frequently Asked Questions


No. BetaGov is not a government agency; we provide training and technical assistance at no cost to users.
Although the aims of the BetaGov model and traditional models of research are the same, there are large methodological differences. Traditional trials research may take years to design, get approved, implement, and complete, but BetaGov can assist practitioners to develop innovative trials to test promising ideas or new approaches in a different way: from inception to launch, BetaGov-assisted trials can happen in as little as a week or two and, depending on the trial, be complete in a few months.
The current research paradigm is not the only way to test ideas about practices and policies. In fact, BetaGov came to be because it was clear that another model was necessary in order to quickly test both large and small ideas by the very practitioners for whom the findings would be most pertinent. We also think that the best ideas may come from stakeholders in the field rather than from researchers at academic institutions.
Researchers at academic institutions must obtain funding to cover the cost of research (including salaries), must obtain institutional regulatory approvals, and are inhibited by practical issues such as identifying partners and research sites. With trials generated by the stakeholders themselves, each agency designs and implements its own trials. This eliminates many of the logistical complications inherent in traditional academic-led research projects.
We aren't looking for any particular kind of trial—we want to encourage any and all trials that test something that may help improve aspects of practice or policies that affect practice.
The philosophy behind BetaGov is that procedures and policies need to be empirically tested. Although there may be intuitive reasons for thinking a change will be positive, without a controlled trial there is little way to truly know if the change results in positive improvements. By designing a randomized controlled trial, you can better assess whether the changes you have made lead to improvements in process or outcomes, or if the changes are ineffective or inefficient. Furthermore, unlike traditional academically based research results that are buried in small journals or never see the light of day, findings will be available to others through the BetaGov website registry. Thus, your efforts can inform others regardless of whether your study found anticipated or unanticipated results. In fact, BetaGov offers transparency in all aspects of our work, from describing trial operational details to reporting findings to recounting partner relationships.
No, we do not provide funds but we do provide technical assistance, as well as guidance on funding sources.
We expect that the majority of the trials conducted with BetaGov assistance will not require external funding, particularly since the lengthy process of applying for research dollars is not conducive to BetaGov research. By keeping apprised of current government and private funding, however, we can try to identify potential funding sources for your particular trial, and assist you in developing a proposal or application.
Contact us! We can assist you to see if testing your idea is feasible in your field.
No, we can assist you in conducting multiple trials at the same time. There is no limit except your own staff/stakeholder and agency resources and, of course, the conduct of each is predicated on the complexity of the design and subject matter. We encourage agencies to conduct a series of trials, and will designate agencies that have at least ten active BetaGov trials as “Learning Institutes” to serve as models for other sites to emulate.