Quick Start: Training in CBPR in BC, Enviro, and Disparities

Institution: Commonweal
Investigator(s): Heather Sarantis, M.S. -
Award Cycle: 2014 (Cycle 20) Grant #: 20AB-2900 Award: $150,418
Award Type: CRC Pilot Award
Research Priorities
Etiology and Prevention>Etiology: the role of environment and lifestyle

Initial Award Abstract (2014)

Commonweal (a nonprofit organization), the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) of the University of California (an academic institution), and Plumbline Coaching and Consulting (a community-engagement consulting firm) will develop and lead Quick Start, an innovative short-course training program. This program will enhance skills and capabilities of racially and geographically diverse community/academic partnerships in California to conduct community-based participatory research (CBPR) in the urgent fields of inquiry on the environmental causes of and disparities in breast cancer, and the solutions that will reduce the suffering from breast cancer. We propose to do this by offering a capacity-building 12-week training that improves academic/community teams’ ability to form lasting partnerships, develop creative and scientifically rigorous research proposals, and conduct community-based participatory research. We will conduct extensive outreach to a wide variety of breast cancer, environmental and other women’s and racial/ethnic health-related community organizations, and researchers from academic research institutions, to encourage their participation in CBPR. We will foster participation of under-represented groups by reaching out to the broad range of community organizations. Applications to Quick Start will be solicited and reviewed and participants will be selected. The curriculum will be delivered to 10 community/academic teams of 2-3 people (maximum 22 participants per year). The curriculum will focus four core components:

The individual teams will be supported over the 12-week training period as they develop their research proposals with one-on-one and individual team technical assistance via in-person meetings, conference calls and electronic communication. At the end of each training cycle, materials and the written curriculum will be made publicly available on CBCRP’s website. The final curriculum and all of its accompanying educational materials and tools will be submitted to CES4Health for peer review. Once reviewed, CES4Health will provide a well-recognized source for availability and distribution. Scientific publications will be prepared.

Final Report (2015)

The QuickStart training program extended beyond the end of the face-to-face trainings in the summer of 2014 to include a mock review in January 2015 and final preparation for submission of applications to the Community Research Collaboration (CRC) Awards in March 2015.

In the initial phase of the training participants developed a concept proposal that they received extensive feedback on from the QuickStart training team. During the training, two of the original nine teams merged, making the cohort eight teams. In this final phase of the training (October 2014-March 2015), participants further refined the concept paper and developed it into a draft CRC proposal. This draft proposal was then distributed to people experienced in grant review who also had relevant expertise to offer meaningful feedback. In January 2015 seven out of the eight teams came to Oakland, CA to witness a mock review. In this mock review, the trainees were silent observers as the review team ran a formal review process, including ranking the proposals, discussing the proposals in-depth and then re-ranking the proposals. This allowed trainees to witness the wide range of critiques and questions raised about their proposal.

After the mock review, teams were given their compiled written review scores and feedback. Teams then participated in technical assistance calls with the QuickStart training team to debrief on the feedback they received, ask clarifying questions and determine steps to finalize their proposal for submission to the CRC call for applications.

Ultimately, six out of the eight teams submitted formal applications for a CRC grant in March 2015. These teams, along with all CRC applicants, will learn in June 2015 whether their applications were successful.