Portal Community User Guide

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Community User Guide

Updated Jan. 21, 2019. Effective Jan. 25, 2019

How it Works:

Interested users access a list of community-sourced research projects to encourage community-based research at the directed learning, graduate student and faculty levels.

In listing and managing their projects communities proceed through the following steps:

Step 1: Listing a Project

The project list contains all active projects available for collaboration. To add a project to the list a community contacts Portal Administration (jdent3@uwo.ca) and together they draft the details and resources attached to a project. Projects can be large (requiring multiple coordinated researchers) or small (providing a single example or field site for a graduate student). This list will be updated regularly.

Details include:

  • Project title
  • Project location
  • Project description including desired outcomes
  • Organization name and website
  • Project dates
  • Liaison contact information
  • Community resources
  • Research keywords
  • Desired level of researcher (i.e., Masters student) and academic discipline
  • Access rights: public or private (site members only)

Once drafted, and if necessary, the proposed project can provided to any approval authorities (i.e., a First Nation’s Chief and Council) within a community for review and approval prior to Portal Administration posting.

Once a project is listed, Portal Administration will provide the community with a username and password, if they do not have one already, so that they can view the entire list and can edit and manage their own project listing through the Project Dashboard.

Step 2: Contact

Before beginning a portal project, a researcher MUST contact the designated community liaison to request to participate. The researcher should provide a brief letter of introduction along with a curriculum vitae to the liaison. Multiple researchers may compete for the same project and there is no requirement that a community collaborate with a particular researcher. Once a researcher has been selected by a community it is expected that they will establish a clear set of expectations and desired research outcomes. Intellectual property, privacy, access, and other foreseeable sensitive issues should all be considered within these negotiations and before research begins. Institutional Research Ethics Review and, if necessary, community ethics requirements should be accomplished concurrently with the negotiation of these research expectations.

Step 3: Research

Research begins once the ethical parameters of the project have been defined and understood by both parties. Researchers will likely be expected to check-in with their community liaisons at various points as they progress. The liaison will also be the conduit to any community resources which can include privileged access to individuals and/or documentation, mentorship, logistical support, academic grant support, and perhaps even alternative grant funding sources (i.e., Ontario Trillium Foundation). The research expectations should include various other considerations such as whether the liaison wishes to review draft theses or is interested in any raw data. As with any applied or community-based research, the coordination between academic and non-academic realms is of great importance and, within the context of these projects, can be a great learning experience for graduate students. Portal Administration should also be informed of research commencing and any successful grant applications.

Step 4: Research Outcomes

When research ends both researcher and community assess the resulting outcomes. Please note that academic outcomes often required of researchers are academic papers, theses and dissertations which should be generally expected outcomes of these projects, although these need to be confirmed as such as part of the initial negotiation of research expectations. In addition to any other outcomes, the Research Portal provides a digital space in which to communicate and commemorate the research project and its outcomes. The community and the researcher decide on the content of this space which is then created by Portal Administration. Digital media (images, videos, files), links to documents (theses, publications), a non-technical project synopsis, and testimonials from project participants are expected elements of this curated space. This outcome page serves to communicate research outcomes to intended audiences including wider community membership and academic circles. The outcome page can also be featured as a line item on CVs and grant applications providing clear evidence of research successes.

Please Note:

Users of the Research Portal agree to these conditions.

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