Research Partnerships

Research Partnerships

HWW centers methods of reciprocity and redistribution as strategies for realizing new knowledge from research-based projects. Below are suggestions for structuring relationships with partners and collaborators. 

At the beginning of the project

  • Include collaborators in conversations about roles and responsibilities, and in developing research questions, goals, and outcomes.
  • Discuss how stakeholders would prefer to communicate, at what intervals, and how information will be collected and shared with the entire team.
  • Consider the impact of past engagement with researchers in your field(s), from universities, and from your background on collaborative dynamics.
  • Develop plans for professional development (e.g., training opportunities: anti-racism workshops; grant writing; project management) and mentoring (e.g., by team members or project participants).

During the project

  • Build in regular moments to check-in, evaluate, and potentially re-adjust the project.
  • Explore opportunities to build in training and resource sharing across all partners, including beyond skills explicitly required for the project.
  • Work to recognize and minimize inequalities in the inherent power hierarchies existing between institutions, communities, and individuals.
  • Find out about, and work within, community organizational structures, protocols, and leaders.

At the end of the project

  • Consider avenues for partnership, redistribution, and reciprocity beyond the life of the project.
  • Be open to opportunities that aren't limited to the project’s topic or methodologies.

Do Not:

  • Assume that expertise only exists within academic spheres.
  • Forget that trainings can be led by non-academic community partners for an academic audience.
  • Make assumptions about knowledge, aptitude, expertise, or interests based on skin color, gender, sexual orientation, or self-presentation.
  • Expect that all people share the same definitions and expectations around key concepts, practices, and responsibilities.
  • Rush conversations and decision-making to meet institutional deadlines or grant timelines.
  • Use prior experiences or work with community members, shared positionalities with collaborators, or good intent as a reason to opt out of joint decision-making or feedback processes.