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Section 5: Questions I Should Ask Before Participating in CEnR

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The decision for a community partner to become involved in a CEnR project is often a complex one with many factors to consider. Because CEnR exists on a continuum, your involvement with a research project can vary in time, commitment, and scope; and may be designed to meet multiple goals.9,36 With thoughtful guidance, planning and support, community partners can address expected challenges unique to CEnR, and experience rich, meaningful collaborations with research teams.

When determining if a research collaboration will be a good match, proper planning and discussion of expectations will allow you to be best prepared for a successful experience.15,19,37

Consider the following (and see Section 6 for solutions to these considerations):

Organizational Functioning Expand answer
  • Will the CEnR project disrupt regular day-to-day work in my organization? Will it create role confusion in the organization?
Timeline Expand answer
  • What is the estimated timeframe of the study? The duration of CEnR projects can range from months to years. Community partners should plan ahead to dedicate time to be fully engaged in research activities.
Team Members Expand answer
  • Does involvement in the project require your organization to hire additional staff members or provide trainings? Are existing staff expected to work overtime and/or extra hours? Will roles need to be redefined? Will current staff members need to be paid more?
Budget Expand answer
  • What compensation (salary and benefits), stipends, reimbursements etc. will be provided to you for your organization’s participation in the research study? Is it fair according to current compensation trends?
Cultural Differences Expand answer
  • Do researchers express an understanding and appreciation of the community/population under study? What considerations are being given to cultural differences, including race, ethnicity, language, and location?
Communication Expand answer
  • How will you communicate with the team (phone, email, text, social media)? Can you access them easily? How will researchers inform you about changes in the research, provide updates, and share information overall? Will the CEnR team use your organization’s existing communication/marketing structures (e.g. social media platforms) or will it require creating new ones for the project?
Sharing of Findings Expand answer
  • How will the results of the study be shared with you? As a community partner, will you be included in any research publications (e.g. articles, newsletters, presentations)?
Separation Expand answer
  • Are there protocols in place to deal with challenges that may arise? Are there established guidelines to follow, should you want to end your involvement in the research project?