Developmental science, linkage grants, “research and practice redefined”: these terms all refer to a major change in they way developmental studies are funded, how they proceed, how they are managed, and what happens to the data. That change has yielded papers pointing to the “separate languages” of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, asking where the major differences lie, and proposing ways to “close the gaps” or “establish partnerships”. To take an example, Lewig, Arney and Scott (2006) group differences into four (related to time frames, languages for communication, priorities and work environment), and strategies into five (building relationships, agreeing on evidence, presenting findings, taking account of individual characteristics, and taking account of contexts). This symposium grounds related concerns and strategies in the reality of a partnership project. This was initiated by Mission Australia, focused on the transition to high school by the children of refugees from Somalia and the Sudan, and aimed from the start at bringing together multiple players: managers of Mission Australia's community operations, researchers, and project workers with community ties. The questions raised, the lessons learned and the strategies adopted, however, are relevant to all projects involving the linking of research and practice. The speakers shall then draw some further examples from other research projects in which they have been involved, and invite examples and proposals from the audience.