Tools for Community-Based Research

Certificate Program

This course will guide you through key facets of community-based research (CBR) using a self-directed education modules. Our goal is to get you ready to participate in and contribute to community based research teams.

“At its core community-based research [CBR] is collaborative, concerned with equity, involves community and university scholars as equal partners, and combines knowledge with action usually to achieve social change. The intent in CBR is to transform research from a relationship where researchers act upon a community to answer a research question to one where researchers work side by side with community members.” (Community-Based Research Partnerships, 2006).

We focus on HIV as an exemplary case, because the social and cultural world of HIV is complex and ever-changing. In Canada, health-oriented HIV community-based research has a unique history of accomplishments. It connects the worlds of activism, research, policy, clinical practice and non-profit frontline work. The lessons learned can be applied to many types of health research and many health conditions.

This exciting and accessible blended learning course is designed with democratic pedagogy principles in mind. The course is for beginners who have not participated or read much about community-based research (CBR), but are eager to get started. It is also for emerging and established researchers who are looking for fresh ways of building capacity amongst their students, team members and participants.

Participation in community-based research can range from being a “respondent” to a survey, to being a member of an advisory committee, a health care provider involved in research, or a peer researcher. Wherever you come from, this course will provide helpful tools to develop your knowledge and skills.

Learning Objectives

  • To become aware of basic terms used in community-based research (CBR).
  • To begin to apply CBR concepts to research contexts familiar to the learner.
  • To increase the learner’s readiness level to participate in a community based research (CBR) study.
  • Apply new knowledge and concepts by sketching a CBR research proposal.

Program Overview

Before the course begins:

  • Review
  • Complete our pre-evaluation
  • Test your computer system to make sure it’s compatible with our Instant Presenter web conferencing software
  • Please note: you will need access to a computer with a webcam, and an external headset/microphone to participate in the online office hours, and the live online group sessions with your classmates
Week 1
Session 1

  • Online, self-directed study (2 hours)
  • Topic: What is Community-Based Research?

Session 2

  • Online, self-directed study (2 hours)
  • Topic: Developing and Sustaining Partnerships & Writing CBR Proposals
Week 2
Session 3

  • Synchronous (live) online group session through Instant Presenter (3 hours)
  • Topic: Welcome/introduction, online meet & greet with your instructor(s) and classmates, review lessons learned during the previous self-directed sessions

Session 4

  • Online, self-directed study (2 hours)
  • Topic: Mapping CBR
  • Ideally, CBR and other health research follows a sequence. But the map is not territory, as they say, and the research linear sequence is not always realized, some phases overlap and some have to be adapted on-the-fly.
Week 3
Session 5

  • Online, self-directed study (2 hours)
  • Topic: Choosing Methods
    • Develop an understanding that research is a series of mindful decisions. Recognize and apply the main factors to consider when choosing a method (including “power” differentials which will be discussed later in the course).

Session 6

  • Synchronous (live) online group session through Instant Presenter (3 hours)
  • Topic: Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation, understand the basics of coding in qualitative research
  • Review lessons learned during the previous self-directed sessions.
Week 4
Session 7

  • Online, self-directed study (2 hours)
  • Topic: Ethics, Informed Consent & Issues of Power Differential in CBR
    • Understand the basic institutional requirements to conduct research with community participants who are autonomous adults.

Session 8

  • In-person group session (4 hours)
  • Topic: Working with Communities & Working with Peer Researchers
  • Please note: This session will be held at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, 600-1300 Yonge St, Toronto, M4T1X3 (Date & time TBC)
Week 5
Session 9

  • Online, self-directed study (2 hours)
  • Topic: Telling the world about CBR
    • Increase awareness of the basics of research dissemination, knowledge, transfer and exchange (KTE) and moving evidence to practice. Increase ability to identify key aspects of health CBR KTE, dissemination and evidence to practice.

Session 10

  • Last class!
  • In-person group session (4 hours)
  • Topic: Bringing it all together
    • Increase collaboration to put together a mock research project that includes some of the key aspects reviewed in the course.
    • Apply new knowledge to build a mock research project.
  • Please note: This session will be held at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network, 600-1300 Yonge St, Toronto, M4T1X3 (Date & time TBC)

Program Details

Lead Instructor

Mitch Harris, MA
Coordinator, Education & Training, Ontario HIV Treatment Network & Universities Without Walls

Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco PhD
Director, Education & Training, Ontario HIV Treatment Network
Manager, Universities Without Walls

Assignments and Expectations

To successfully complete this certificate program, students are expected to:

  • Complete all online modules and assignments and attend and participate in all sessions. (Should something arise which makes it impossible for a student to attend a class, the student must contact the lead instructor in advance.)
  • Participate frequently, rather than working for a long time less often
  • Contribute thoughtfully but succinctly to class discussions online and in-person, and complete tasks to the best of their ability
  • Reflect on the course material between on-line sessions

Tuition Fee
$135 + HST = $152.25

Cancellation Policy
Withdrawals are effective on the date withdrawal notice is received and course fees refunded subject to $50 non-refundable amount. No withdrawals or refunds on or after the course start date.

Date & Time

For actual dates, locations and session offerings, search from the list of available courses.

Registrants are advised that parts or all of the in-class sessions may be photographed and/or digitally recorded where the intended use may be to reproduce, use, exhibit, display, broadcast and distribute these images and recordings in any media for promoting or publicizing the Faculty of Education, York University and their activities for administrative, educational or research purposes. Photographs, video images and voice recordings are the property of York University.