Xinsheng Cindy Cai

Principal Researcher

Xinsheng “Cindy” Cai is a principal researcher at AIR. As a knowledge translation (KT) expert, Dr. Cai is invited by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide consultation to help develop a global research agenda on KT and evidence-informed policymaking. Dr. Cai serves as the co-chair and editor of the Knowledge Translation and Implementation Coordinating Group of Campbell Collaboration. As principal investigator and project director of the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC), Dr. Cai has managed the development and dissemination of over 800 products, made as the go-to-place for free research-based resources for people with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and burn injury across the world, and won over 20 awards for website and resource development through national and international communication, creative, and social impact competitions including the ASTRID Awards, Anthem Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, Telly Awards, and Digital Health Awards. Dr. Cai also serves as the principal investigator of the Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Bundle for American Indians project to help improve the lives of American Indians with traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the principal investigator of the TBI&Work Toolkit: Employment Resources for People with Traumatic Brain Injury to support people with TBI to return to work and stay at work. 

Dr. Cai’s knowledge translation leadership experiences also include serving as the principal investigator of two knowledge translation subgrants funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study policymakers’ needs for traumatic brain injury (TBI) data and to develop the policy factsheet on the long-term effects of moderate to severe TBI; a co-principal investigator of a grant to translate wheelchair safe transfer techniques for consumers and clinicians; a strategic advisor on the Expert Advisory Panel for systematic reviews for the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes.

Dr. Cai is the quality assurance reviewer of Center for the Knowledge Translation for Disability and Rehabilitation Research and a project funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to develop research fundamentals and training resources for multi-stakeholder research teams, and a subject matter expert for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Translation Center. In addition, Dr. Cai served as a senior advisor for the Knowledge Transfer Workshop for the Rehabilitation Services Administration.

Dr. Cai has two decades of experience in applying advanced research methodology and statistics in designing, conducting, and managing complex large-scale multi-site evaluations. She led the five-year large-scale evaluations of career pathway demonstration projects in Kentucky and Virginia to support individuals with disabilities to obtain and maintain gainful employment. In addition, Dr. Cai directed the multi-year, multi-site survey study of the GE Foundation’s Developing FuturesTM in Education Initiative; led the evaluation of the Power Up What Works and Doing What Works initiative. Through these projects, she developed tools to support grantees in understanding data and conduct action planning and translated evaluation findings to develop strategy guides on best practices. A What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) certified reviewer, she authored numerous WWC intervention reports.