In Scotland, as in other legislations, the government and its agencies commission educational research to inform policy and practice development. This provides opportunities for academic researchers, who are under pressure to engage in funded research, to carry their interests forward with some assurance of social usefulness and impact. Many educational researchers have a commitment not just to explore and explain processes around the organisation of learning, but also to change current practices for the benefit of groups who are not getting the most out of their educational experiences. There are, though, costs involved in this kind of research. Often very tight timeframes are imposed by the funders. There may also be constraints on publication of outputs. This paper provides one case study of undertaking policy-facing research whilst attempting to maintain integrity and quality.