Consumer Involvement in Research (CIR)
The CIR Program is starting to build momentum again, now that the grant season is almost upon us. To date, we have received eleven requests for consumers and I am pleased to say that we have had an enthusiastic response to these from my call-out to be involved.
The next two months will be very bust as we receive requests from researchers for consumers to be involved. While this may be too late for getting in depth consumer involvement, any guidance consumers can give researcher as they prepare their grant applications will be well received.
We have been approached by several research institutes to help their researchers better understand how consumers can be involved. I welcome all such approaches and any opportunity we have to spread the word and help researchers learn about the benefits of involving consumers at the earliest stage of their research are most welcome.
One such approach came from University of Queensland (UQ) and on Monday 21 March I presented a short session to a group of researchers on what a consumer review panel looks for when assessing a grant application. So, I now expect we will receive numerous requests for consumers to be involved in various research projects form UQ researchers.
Cancer Voices Needs You
Once again I am sending a call-out for more consumers to become involved in our CIR program. Not only do we want to increase the number of consumers in the program, we are interested in increasing the age and diversity of our consumers. In particular, we are looking for consumers from regional and remote areas across Australia and from people from a diverse range of backgrounds and ages.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in being involved in the program or would like to know more about it, please contact us at [email protected].
Training for consumers is important before being matched with a researcher and there are a number of opportunities for you to undertake basic consumer training.
Cancer Council Australia offers four free online modules which take approximately three hours to complete. The modules are designed to give participants a basic idea of the different types of cancer research, the stages of research and funding cycles and what is expected of the consumer and researcher. The link to the online modules can be found on the website – access here.
The Telethon Kids Institute in WA also offers an online program. While it has a more general health focus, the information is applicable to consumers working in cancer. Check it out here: https://training.telethonkids.org.au/courses/consumer-introduction/.