Recommendations to support community involvement in research

Involve Australia asks funders to require community involvement in all grant opportunities in recently published recommendations for health and medical research funders and institutes.

The community-led project Involve Australia (coordinated by Australian Genomics), interviewed community members, researchers, community involvement coordinators and institute leads, who state they require more support from health and medical research funders and institutes. Stakeholders often come across several institutional, organisational and/or funding barriers that limit their efforts at researcher-community partnerships.

Some recommendations made by Involve Australia to address these include:

  • Research institutes providing dedicated staff and continued resourcing to support community involvement practices institute-wide
  • Research institutes offering seed funding to researchers who wish to co-design projects with community prior to the submission of grant applications
  • Funders providing more streams of funding that are community-led
  • Funders assigning appropriate weighting to community involvement processes in grant applications
  • Funders creating a budget line item for payment of community members, and reviewing grant applications to ensure appropriate funds are requested for the payment of consumers and community members

Involve Australia also published the Guidelines for Community Involvement in Genomic Research in late 2023, which provides researchers with practical advice and insights into partnering meaningfully with community. While initially designed for genomic research, these principles are applicable across all health and medical research.

See the Involve Australia webpage for more resources developed by the project aimed to assist meaningful community involvement.

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