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We believe university researchers and community members have a lot to learn from one another.

Community-based research (CBR) is a collaborative process and good CBR benefits everyone involved. The below resources can help community groups/organizations and university-based researchers learn more about how to do CBR and provide you with tools to start.

We’ve organized this information to help you with CBR from start to finish, beginning with groundwork, then planning your research, sharing findings, and lastly, mobilizing knowledge within communities.

Don’t see the guidance you need? Please email us at mrai.info@ubc.ca and we can help you find more resources.

How to Do Ethical and Community-Based Research

Start here to learn more about what CBR is. Inform yourself so you can design an ethical methodology and frame expectations with, by, and for communities.


“Cultural Humility in Teaching & Learning”

UBC Learning Circle / Evan Adams

This resource introduces the concept of cultural humility, aimed at ensuring cultural safety, i.e. creating an environment free of racism and discrimination and where people feel safe and respected. Used in health service delivery, the concept is also useful in the context of doing research.


“Research Ethics: A Guide for Community Organizations”

PACE Society / Raven Bowen

This guide addresses ethical issues in doing research with sex workers that can extend to other marginalized people. It includes a section with practical questions to consider in doing research with organizations.


“Our Plan & Our Words: Mapping Downtown Eastside Community Assets and Challenges” Report

Carnegie Community Action Project

This report provides an example of how to use community mapping as a tool to bring together local residents to share their knowledge and experiences.


Toolkit: “Aboriginal Knowledge Translation: Understanding and Respecting the Distinct Needs of Aboriginal Communities in Research”

Co-authored by: Elizabeth Estey, Janet Smylie, Ann Macaulay

This resource provides an overview of key tools on doing ethical research with Aboriginal peoples, including CIHR Guidelines, the Tri-Council Policy Statement, the 4 R’s of research, and the OCAP principles.


“Research 101: A Process for Developing Local Guidelines for Ethical Research in Heavily Researched Communities”

Co-Authored by: Scott Neufeld, Jule Chapman, Nicolas Crier, Samona Marsh, Jim McLeod, Lindsay Deane

This article reports on the project creating the “Manifesto for Ethical Research in the Downtown Eastside”, offering insights and empowering resources for community organizations entering university research partnerships.


“Community Engaged Research Ethical Principles”

Simon Fraser University CERi

This website outlines ten ethical principles for community-engaged research, including harm and risk reduction, attention to context, focus on relationships, and more.

How to Plan a Community-Campus Research Partnership

Build collaborative relationships, ensure representation, clarify contributions


“Thinking about Working with External Researchers?” Checklist

Centre for Community Based Research

A handy check-list for communities and community organizations considering working with outside researchers.


“G.R.O.W + L.I.F.T. Checklist”

Community-Based Research Centre

The Community-Based Research Centre CBRC prepared a tool for (primarily) university researchers to check how effectively their research is serving the communities/community organizations they (hope to) work with.


“First Nations Health Authority Researcher Guides”

First Nations Health Authority

The Researcher Guides section of the FNHA’s “Research Resources” page includes multiple guides for researchers seeking to approach First Nations with a research proposal.


“Empowering Informed Consent” Pamphlet

Hives for Humanity

A convenient card-style pamphlet about developing ongoing informed consent for CBR.


“Community Resource Handbook: A Guide to Community-Engaged Research”

Simon Fraser University CERi

A practical and accessible guide designed for community-serving organizations, students, and researchers who aim to advance community interests through research. The handbook provides a framework to guide the development of community engaged research projects, focusing on ethics, research methods, procedures, and potential challenges.


“Distanced Community-Based Research”

Simon Fraser University CERi

SFU’s Community-Engaged Research initiative (CERi)’s webinars on how to continue community-centered research during a pandemic (with links to YouTube video recordings).


Principles for Researchers Working with VANDU”

Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU)

This page presents a list of principles for researchers working with the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), a liberation movement of people who use drugs. It also discusses research agreements.

How to Make Research Accessible

Create stigma-free materials and share beyond journal articles


“What Are Creative Commons and Open Licenses?”

BC Campus

A quick explanation of Creative Commons and Open licenses, provided by BC Campus – OpenEducation. This organization also offers additional information on open educational resources.


“COVID-19 Language Guide”

BC Centre for Disease Control

This tool provides language guidelines designed to make COVID-19 written and digital content more inclusive. Inclusive messaging makes it more likely for people to see the content as relevant to their situation and experiences, therefore increasing the chances they will act on it.


“Share Your Work” Guide

Creative Commons

Creative Commons, a global body that provides open-copyright licences, offers free, simple, and standardized ways to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works to be shared publicly.


“Community-Based Participatory Research and Integrated Knowledge Translation: Advancing the Co-creation of Knowledge”

Co-authored by: Janet Jull, Audrey Giles, Ian Graham

By better understanding the similarities and differences between CBR and knowledge translation, researchers and community-based knowledge users can leverage best practices.


“How to Talk About People Who Use Drugs”

Manitoba Harm Reduction Network

A compact checklist to create stigma-free media products and write respectfully about people who use drugs.


“Knowledge Mobilization Resources”

Research Impact Canada

Research Impact Canada offers a range of tools, trainings, and more on knowledge mobilization, including plain language checklists, needs assessment tools, and examples of Research Snapshots (article summaries).


“Guide to Communicating Research Beyond Academia”

Research Retold

Two chapters of this guide can be downloaded for free; the website also lists the resources mentioned in the guide, including software to create visual summaries, database with free icons, and other data visualization tools.

How to Use Research for the Public Good

Use knowledge exchange and knowledge mobilization strategies to create positive change in communities


“Community Vision for Change in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside”

Carnegie Community Action Project

This report is an example of how results from a community-engaged consultation process can be shared.


“Knowledge Translation (KT) for Indigenous Communities: A Policy Making Toolkit”

Co-authored by: P. Gaye Hanson, Janet Smylie

This toolkit aims to assist community policy makers in the development of specifically health-related Knowledge Translation policy, for First Nation, Inuit or Métis communities.


“The Community Impacts of Research Oriented Partnerships (The CIROP Measure)”

Impact Measure

While an older tool, this checklist to measure community members’ perceptions of the impact of a research partnership points to the different areas in which research can create impact (or not).


“Community-Based Participatory Approaches to Knowledge Translation: HIV Prevention Case Study of the Investigaytors Program”

Co-authored by: Jeffrey Morgan, Cameron Schwartz, Olivier Ferlatte, Caroline Mniszak, Nathan Lachowsky, Jody Jollimore, Mark Hull, Rod Knight

This article discusses a community-based participatory research approach to knowledge translation, specifically via the engagement of community stakeholders in an intervention aimed at facilitating access to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.


“Knowledge Translation (KT) Planning Primer”

Public Health Agency of Canada

This short guide includes good primers to consider around how to share research knowledge.


“Coming Together: Homeless Women, Housing and Social Support”

Co-authored by: Izumi Sakamoto, Josie Ricciardi, Jen Plyler, Natalie Wood, Aisha Chapra, Matthew Chin, Billie Allan, Rose Cameron, Monica Nunes

This report includes an informative section on knowledge translation strategies as well as an exemplary section on policy recommendations.


Link Roundup: “Community-Based Knowledge Transfer and Exchange: Helping Community-Based Organizations Link Research to Action”

Co-authored by: Michael Wilson, John Lavis, Robb Travers, Sean Rourke

This article includes informative tables linking knowledge transfer and exchange activities with CBR methods and initiatives.