This paper aims to analyse the configuration of factors contributing to research uptake in education, with a particular focus on the Romanian context. One subsequent objective is to identify mechanisms for developing better synergies, not only between educational practice and research but also between these and educational policy. In doing so, the paper argues for shared responsibility among higher education institutions and policymakers for improving the educational system. The paper relies on results from a survey administered to a selected sample of civil servants in the Romanian central administration involved in the planning, evaluation and implementation of public policies in the field of education. Our results address the mechanisms of research uptake and utilisation by the central administration (communication and dissemination strategies, clarity, access and availability of research data, policymakers’ preferences for certain research topics) and the perceived relationship between researchers and policymakers (for example, the strength and nature of the relationship, or policymakers’ general involvement in research studies). The findings of our study pave the way for an in-depth analysis of organizational factors likely to affect research utilisation: research culture and engagement with researchers; the political and managerial context likely to promote research transfer; and the financial context needed to foster quality results.