The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute network (COPSIN) seeks to provide a world-class, multi-sport daily training environment for athletes and coaches through expert leadership, services, and programs. Along with world leading applied service provision, sport psychology practitioners are mandated to align service delivery closely with performance-led research that aims to better understand specific issues and achieve breakthroughs in training science, maximizing competition performance, and improving athlete mental health and wellbeing. The purpose of this presentation is to share and reflect on the author's opportunities and challenges to meet this mandate as a contracted employee over the period of six years within COPSIN. In particular, this presentation will highlight the challenges to carrying out research and innovation (R & I) activities as it relates to financial compensation and funding, practitioner role clarity, and the scope of practice including the development of collaborative relationships for research within the sport science team. Additionally, ethical considerations for action research by applied practitioners working in the high performance environment will be discussed. The intent is to provide University-based colleagues with a clear and unambiguous understanding of the gaps that exist within the current applied sport psychology R & I landscape so that partnership-based strategies can be identified and established that are mutually beneficial.