A new program from the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) provides special training to the public and researchers on teaming up to do powerful studies – and gives $25,000 to teams of community members and researchers who pair up to tackle health issues in ways that resonate with the public.
Many health research projects study specific communities, but they often don’t have a team member from that community involved in the study design from day one. This can lead to everything from study meeting times that don’t work for that group of people to bigger issues that could’ve easily been avoided, had they been involved. This new program spearheaded by ITM-Illinois Tech helps solve that problem, by providing an opportunity for researchers and community members to team up and do powerful studies to improve people’s health together. It’s led by both researchers AND community members.
“Diversity does not mean studying more people,” said Patrick Corrigan, PsyD, the ITM-Illinois Tech site leader and Distinguished Professor of Psychology. “Diversity means partnering with more communities. This is an opportunity for ITM researchers to partner with community members and health concerns of interest to specific communities. ITM 3.0 is meant to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. This is the absolute grassroots way of doing it.”
The Inspiring Change Research Training Program is made of up three parts – training for community members, training for researchers, and funding for teams sparked from both trainings.
The Community-Engaged Research Seminar: Pipeline to Funding is a four-session training for researchers on conducting community-engaged research. Corrigan and Lindsay Sheehan, PhD, Assistant Professor, will be leading the training. Afterward researchers will have the opportunity to partner with a community member and apply for the Inspiring Change Pilot Grant Awards Program, which offers $25,000 and a more in-depth training on community-engaged research. This training and funding is open to people from all six ITM institutions.
The community members will be pulled from the Community Leaders Institute, which kicks off on May 17. Members of the public will get a four-week training on health research, how it impacts their communities, and how they can get involved in the study design process. Attendees will get up to $500 for participating, depending on how much of the training they attend. Illinois Tech’s Karyn Bolden Stovall and Elliott Morris will be leading this training.
“This training and this type of research process is designed to give the community an equal in say in research that happens in their community, to be leaders of designing interventions that will ultimately impact their communities,” said Stovall, who has been an active community member herself. “It’s designed specifically to provide them with equal power in the research structure.”
Both groups will come together on June 8th for a matchmaking event!
The deadline for both opportunities is 5:00 p.m. on May 10th.
Questions? Contact Karyn Bolden Stovall at firstname.lastname@example.org.