Research Partnerships

Partnerships and collaboration are at the heart of community-based research (CBR) and careful consideration should be given to identifying partners, setting up terms for the collaboration, and evaluating the process as it unfolds. Here are some resources to assist in developing and learning about collaboration in CBR.



  • Research Partnership Checklist – downloadable guidelines for PAN agencies who may be partaking in community-based research for the first time and want to know some of the questions to ask in order to ensure proposed research projects are suitable to their organization’s needs and capacity levels, and that research partnerships are respectful and mutually beneficial.
  • Grant Roles and Responsibilities – Developed by the CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS, this document provides a useful guide to the roles and responsibilities for research grant applicants. The table outlines typical responsibilities for Nominated Principal Applicants, Principal Applicants/Principal Knowledge Users, Co-Applicants/Knowledge Users, and Collaborators on CIHR grants. Research project teams can use this as a tool to decide what roles team members will play in the proposed project.
  • When researchers come knocking (a resource for community-based organizations) – At PAN’s 2013 Knowledge to Action: Strategic Directions for CBR workshop, we hosted a session called “When Researchers Come Knocking: Strategies from Community-Based Organizations.” This resource page includes of example documents referenced at that workshop to help you decide how you answer the door.



  • Doing More in Partnership – A toolkit for community-university collaboration developed by Ontario’s Centre for Excellence in Child and Youth Mental Health, that is useful if you are contemplating a partnership with university-based researchers or are already involved in one. This resource provides a roadmap to community-university collaboration and case study examples of what this looks like in action.
  • Making Research Work in your Community: A Guidebook to Successful Research Partnerships – Co-authored by Community Network for Research Equity & Impact member Natasha Ray, New Haven Healthy Start Consortium Development Coordinator, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and Dr. Karen Wang. The guidebook is the result of a study that looked at best practices in community-university partnerships.



  • The GIPA principle, or MIPA (Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS) is an important principle in HIV community-based research. This principle recognizes the rights and responsibilities of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), including their right to self determination. Read the UNAIDS GIPA policy brief for an overview of the principle.
  • Peer Research in Action:  These working papers from the Wellesley Institute, Brenda Roche along with Sarah Flicker and Adrian Guta present Peer Research in Action in three parts: Models of Practice; Management, Support and Supervision; and, Ethical Issues.



  • Developing a CBPR Partnership  by Sarah Flicker, Kirsten Senturia and Kristine Wong. This online learning unit covers the basic tools for beginning a community-based participatory research partnership. For established partnerships, this unit can be helpful for engaging new partners and for reflecting on and improving upon decisions that have already been made.