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We promote the community ‘voice’ in health research.

Community

Involving consumers and community members in research ensures peoples’ lived experiences and perspectives shape decisions about research priorities, policy and practice.

Our aim is for consumer and community involvement to be standard practice in all health research in Western Australia. Our services, resources and training programs have been developed to support consumers and community members being involved in all levels and stages of research.

What is consumer and community involvement?

Consumers and community members working in partnerships with researchers, clinicians, government agencies, policy makers and funding bodies to shape decisions about research.

Active partnerships between consumers, community members and researchers that are sensitive to changing needs and priorities of the community.

Consumers and community members are an integral part of the research process, rather than just observing or commenting on the research once it’s finished.

It’s a commitment to conducting research that is with the community rather than to or for the community.

This approach results in greater transparency, openness and accountability and research that is more relevant to the community.

Why is it important?

Researchers, consumers and community members can work together to raise awareness and support in the wider community of research and its results.

  • Research being conducted better meets the needs of the community
  • Engages researchers who are committed to the ‘value adding’ of consumer and community involvement
  • Consumers and community members have increased value for research and may advocate for change and/or further funding
  • Improves translation with research becoming more than a report on a shelf or a conference presentation

Woman hugging her two sons

How can I be involved?

There are a range of ways for you to be involved in having a ‘say’ about research:

Applying for an involvement opportunity

You will need to register to Join our Network to apply for an involvement opportunity.  You will be prompted to complete your profile which includes information about your interests and experience which could be relevant to your involvement in a research project.  You will also be asked to provide contact details of two referees to get to know you better. The referees could be friends, relatives, fellow committee or sporting group members, or your past or present employers.

Our team will then contact applicants and their referees to find out more about why they would like to be involved in the projects. This information is then provided to the researcher to assist in deciding the most appropriate consumer/community members to involve in their project.

If your application is successful, our Consumer Advocates will liaise with you and the researcher to help guide and support the new relationship.  You may also like to attend one of our training workshops (below) to further build your skills and confidence.

Training for consumers

Consumer and community training workshops cover basic research information such as: terminology, research funding processes, different types of research, and how to contribute effectively to a research team.

Our interactive workshops support consumers and community members to develop understanding, skills and confidence about becoming actively involved in research.  Our consumer training workshops take no longer than a day and usually run from 9.30am – 2.30pm.

Click here to register for a free training workshop.  If no dates are currently scheduled you can sign up to Join our Network to be notified as soon as future training dates are set.

Customised training workshops can be developed to meet the specific needs of your organisation on a fee for service basis. If you would like to discuss customised workshops please Contact us.

Our methods for consumer and community involvement

We have developed a range of methods for consumer and community involvement. Click here for a short explanation and example to see how these methods can be adapted to suit the needs of the particular research project.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is consumer and community involvement about participating in research?
  • How can I be sure the consumer or community member is representative?
  • How do I make sure I am getting the right consumers and community member rather than the ‘professional’ consumer?
  • Is there a role for consumer and community involvement in all types of research?
  • Do consumers or community members need to be involved when the research project is about health workforce issues or conditions?

Find out more