Community Engaged Research Seed Grants

Associate Vice President for Research Kim Christen introduces the new Community Engaged Research Program and seed grants available to faculty at WSU Pullman. Dr. Christen discusses the whys and hows of community engaged research, the types of projects the grants are intended to fund, deadlines, and how to apply. This session will be of interest to faculty at WSU Pullman who do community engaged research or who are interested in getting started.

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Kim Christen: Welcome, everybody, to this session! This is an information session about a new program that we’re running here out of the Office of Research, specifically through my office.

Kim Christen: I’m Kim Christen, the Associate Vice President for Research Advancement and Partnerships. So we are running this program, the INSPIRE! Community Engaged Research program. We’re calling it a program because it includes much more than seed grants. Yes, a lot of you probably tuned in to hear about the secrets, and I’m going to talk about that. But I’m going to talk about sort of a broader picture about community engaged research, why it matters, why we’re doing this, the context for it.

Kim Christen: And then we’ll get into some of the specifics. I know that all of you hold advanced degrees, so I’m not going to read at you. I’m not gonna…like all of…most of the information about the very fine grained details about the seed grants and the other things are on the website and they’re on these slides. We will post the slides, we will post this video, all of the information will be there and I’ll go over it today.

Kim Christen: But I’m also we’re we’re also here today to answer your questions. Once we do kind of, you know, move forward and talk about this. So the first thing is hopefully some of you are wondering or maybe not all of you, but what is community engaged research

Kim Christen: Why is it important? So it might seem very obvious. It involves communities and it’s engaged and it’s research. It’s also research.

Kim Christen: I’m going to pause and say this research for me includes creative activity and creative activity includes research. They are under the same umbrella, I might say research, I might say creative activity. But one thing about community engaged research, it cuts across all disciplines. It cuts across all colleges in this university, it cuts across every type of research or creative activity that you would want to do.

Kim Christen: Could be community engaged. It doesn’t have to be. And I’m not saying that other forms foundation or research, those things are great community engaged. Research is one part of a toolbox, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. So community engaged research, really at the end of the day is ethically centered research. They are one in the same.

Kim Christen: So when we’re talking about community research, where we’re really talking about research that starts from the very beginning by working with the community or communities, and we’ll talk about how we’re going to define those, but in every stage. So formulating research questions, deciding on a type of creative activity, deciding on what type of methodologies, looking at who should be involved, deciding on the types of what does it mean to be successful in this project.

Kim Christen: So all of those all of those components that for a lot of us in a lot of disciplines are usually about the one person or or, you know, the core individual that have that that is defining. Well, here’s my research question. This is what my hypothesis is, or I’m going to work with this lab or with this team.

Kim Christen: And and it’s it’s sort of more insular. So in this we’re expanding that and we’re really including whichever the community or communities that you’re working with in every stage. And when we think about that, then we’re talking about, well, what’s equitable, what’s beneficial, what are the goals, what are the outcomes that we get from whatever these things that we’re going to decide we’re going to do?

Kim Christen: It’s very flexible. It’s adaptable. It will very much most likely change over the course of what you’re doing. Not that other research doesn’t, of course, one of the things about that’s sort of at the center of community engaged research is valuing valuing multiple types of knowledge. So again, we’re talking about experts and knowledge holders that are outside of a university or universities, right?

Kim Christen: So not just working with your colleagues at Montana State, I like could think of there for a moment was UW and I was like, “think of a different example!” So like, you know, wherever it is your colleagues in this case, there are the experts are the community members. So it’s a shift in thinking who are the experts, where is the knowledge?

Kim Christen: So how do we value multiple sets of knowledge? And in a lot of communities you’re going to have multiple sets of experts, multiple sets of knowledge holders that you’re going to have to kind of weave into your projects. It’s not necessarily that you’re going to find one expert or one knowledgeable that in whatever community that you’re working with.

Kim Christen: So it’s thinking about how do I value these multiple sets of knowledge. Again, going back to what I first and then working together to formulate, here’s the research that we want to do, here’s the methodologies, here’s what we’re going to do, here’s the plan that we’re going to have. What’s most important there is the self-identification of the community members themselves.

Kim Christen: So in the literature, we’ve kind of gotten away from talking about stakeholders, sort of very colonial, right? I’m going to stake. Right? It’s like literally colonial, like you actually can’t be more colonial than “stakeholders”. So we’re not, you know, and a lot of the foundations of a lot of the research we do also has this very colonial and extractive history.

Kim Christen: We go in and get the data and we come out, we go in right, and come out with this and we don’t come back. That’s that model has been critiqued for a very long time. But it’s it’s, you know, community engaged research is one answer to that. So what do we do? How do we how do we still do research?

Kim Christen: How do we still go about looking at data, analyzing data without this sort of extractive model? I’m going to go in and take it and go out and then go back to my lab and do it. So part of it is honestly a shift in thinking about instead of collecting your data, what are you doing right? What are you doing?

Kim Christen: I don’t know because I don’t know research the research that you’re doing in your specific communities. But are you gathering it? Are you harvesting? Are you nourishing it? Like what other words can you use? Because it is a shift that you need to make away from this sort of extractive nature. When you’re talking about community engaged research, I would say in all research, but we’re talking about community engaged research at the moment.

Kim Christen: The next thing is you want to include when you’re working with your communities and community engaged. Research is fundamentally about the inclusion of the protocols, the guidelines, the values and the framing principles of the communities that you’re working with. So what are their protocols for how knowledge is circulated? What are their guidelines and values for whatever the particular research that you’re doing is? Right?

Kim Christen: And so those are the things. That’s why there’s a more on ramp, usually for community engaged research, because it’s about building relationships, it’s about gaining trust, and it’s about formulating a plan that ultimately ends up in something that’s beneficial to the community. This is the other thing that you’ll, you know, oftentimes people say this has to be mutually beneficial.

Kim Christen: Actually, it needs to be beneficial to the community. I know that’s a…Right? I know that’s a shift. But so, for example, when I was writing my dissertation and I was working with an indigenous community in Australia, I agreed I didn’t have to at that time, but I agreed to submit my dissertation to them first for review before my dissertation committee.

Kim Christen: That wasn’t necessarily mutually beneficial. Like I could have gotten the short end of the stick there. If you build up a lot, a relationship usually along the way that those things probably won’t happen. But ultimately at the end of the day, it’s really about community benefits. I know that is I know that’s a shift because you need to get tenure or you want to get tenure, right?

Kim Christen: We want to publish, you want to do all these things and those things can happen at the same time. You have to be upfront about that with the community. This is for my dissertation. This is how long I have to do it. This is my committee. These are my boundaries. Can I…Can we do this project? And the answer might be no.

Kim Christen: And then you have to decide, okay, I’m gonna go do my dissertation research somewhere else because it doesn’t work for the community. And that’s the difference. So we really have to be upfront about what what we need and what the community wants, because the community benefit is the ultimate determinant. So again, it’s it’s just a shift in kind of how we’re thinking about this.

Kim Christen: And then by far and away, you know, the kind of the benchmarks of community engaged research has to be reciprocal. It has to be respectful and it has to be something that builds in that sustainability. And again, it depends on what you’re doing, is that sustainability a year five, years, 50 years, 100 years, I don’t know what the projects are, but again, the conversations that you start are about what does that mean for you for this project to live on after I do leave, because I’m going to leave in two years, four years, three years, six months, whatever it it is, as long as you’re upfront about that and you decide together if it’s going to

Kim Christen: work, that’s fine. So I’m not here to tell you you have to work with the community for 20 years. That’s something I did. But you could work for a community for two months and it could be insanely beneficial for that community. So it’s not necessarily the length of time, it’s how you go about framing what you’re doing together and what that benefit is for the community.

Kim Christen: So some of the ways that that we show respect and reciprocity are payments. All of you who or any of you who’ve written grant proposals, you pay other people who work in your lab, you pay students you pay grad students, you do honoraria for other faculty. We have advisory boards and we pay them. You need to pay the experts in the community.

Kim Christen: It’s their labor. And so, again, that model of, you know, I’m just going to go and expect you to spend all this time doing this with me and there’s not going to be this this this acknowledgment of the labor that you’re providing. Write it into your grant budgets. It’s…It’s…We called it out in the seed grant here.

Kim Christen: But I will tell you granting agencies now are being much much more accustomed to this. I got turned down for one of my very first grants and literally one of the reviewers comments was, “Why would we pay these people?” So I’m not going to editorialize at the moment, but you all can read into that what you want. That same granting agency has since come a very long way, and it’s so it is appropriate for you to pay consultants who are the local experts in whatever community you’re working in,100%. Build it into your budget. Equity in dispersal of the findings.

Kim Christen: This is a conversation to have upfront. When we’re done, can I publish this in my dissertation? Can I put it on a website? Can we put it in a film? If my university wants to use it in their annual report, whatever it is, you need to talk about that. Can we publish it in journals? And that leads me to like the number one shift that needs to happen in academics.

Kim Christen: And it’s happening and it’s happening slowly. But this is happening: Citation. Coauthor with your community members. Because you wouldn’t be authoring that paper without them. You wouldn’t…You wouldn’t do that to one of your colleagues, right? You absolutely have their name there. So citational practices are shifting. They’re shifting in some disciplines faster than others, but they are shifting in the hard sciences.

Kim Christen: I hate that term. Sorry, I used it. Look how, like, ingrained that is. Can’t believe I said that. They come in all every type of discipline and this is shifting. So be the one who’s shifting it too. It’s up to you, right? That’s a…That is something that will bear fruit in terms of the trust and the respect and the reciprocity

Kim Christen: and the sustainability, is that you’re showing that you are co-create either coauthoring this or co-creating this or co-performing it…co-visualizing it, whatever it is that you’re doing it together. So those are some of the benchmarks of what is community engaged research. So I’m going to pause so that people can ask questions and then we’ll get into the nuts and bolts of all the thing that’s on the website that you all with advanced degrees can read.

Kim Christen: But I will go through anyway. So this is where if you if you, if you want a question and you’re online, which 22 of you are, please just jump in because we don’t we can’t necessarily see your hands or Emily, you can see the chat, but I am a participant so they can either raise their hand or so I’m going to pause.

Kim Christen: We’ll take there’s six things in the chat box on my screen. Those are they can hear you. Those are they can hear me? Okay. Any questions about what is or anything that I’ve said for the last 15 minutes now? Yes, it’s just Washington state have a standard compensation rate that gets used in grants? Now so that in case you couldn’t hear online, the question was “Does Washington state or maybe Washington State University have a standard rate for compensation”?

Kim Christen: The answer is no. That’s something you need to…It’s usually discipline specific. So I will say like in my field, it’s changed obviously over the years, you know, inflation as anywhere else, but anywhere between $25 to $50 an hour or sometimes we do, you know, $500 for a day. But again, don’t use…ask people who are doing that or if we can start to look.

Kim Christen: But in your field, there will sort of be a baseline or think about it as the same as if you were going to hire a consultant to do X, like what would that be? But that’s a really good question there. There are not yet, but it’s usually sort of the norms. Yeah, Liane, did you have a question too?

Kim Christen: Yeah, I guess I was just I mean, I think about this a little bit, as like a scientist like, well, how could I engage with the community? Are these sorts of problems the community has that they’re concerned about that we could work together and I’m not sure if they’re any thoughts about how to find community partners or figure out who those experts are in the community to consult with.

Kim Christen: Yes. So that will be so. Yes, there are different ways. Sitting right to your left are Jessica and Ben, and they are director, assistant director for that at the Center for Community Engagement. And they help with a lot of that. They’re partnering with us. And so there are and part of this and part of what goes on with this program, and initiative that we’re doing is we’re offering trainings.

Kim Christen: And some of the trainings will answer that exact question, “Hey, I’m in chemistry, I’m not…my field is not used to doing this or I’m not.”I’m just using you as an example. And so how do I go about this? Because I think it would be benefit. And the reason you want to do it right is because it will there’s a benefit to it.

Kim Christen: There’s something that will help you ask a different question or help you look at something differently. And that’s ultimately what you want. But so that that’s part of the training. So maybe that segues into the next slide. Well, thank you. Yes. So what this…this initiative brings together this sort of practical training with funding. Usually out of the Office of Research

Kim Christen: we’re used to initiatives that are all about money. And this is still has a monetary component, but we’re pairing it with training because there is not a lot of formal training for community engaged research. And so we will have workshops, we will have more information…So information sessions are these short hour things and they might be on one topic, like one sort of narrow topic, and then we’ll have some workshops that are a little more broad that that we’re looking at.

Kim Christen: So that Center for Civic Engagement right now has a community engaged scholarship program where they work with faculty, and it’s mostly about teaching. And so we’re working together to create a program for community engaged research. So it will be we’re still working out the details of the length of that, but that would be a longer workshop and it’ll be sort of cohort based and you’ll apply to it and you’ll have that.

Kim Christen: And so and then like I said, we’ll have more of these information sessions. The information sessions will have topics covered by us, but and other experts. Out here at WSU, we have fantastic…You all have fantastic colleagues who are doing this and have have been doing it. So you can look on the website. We did a panel during research week.

Kim Christen: There were four community engaged scholars from four different disciplines in four different colleges at WSU. So if you think we don’t do that in I’m not going to name a college, but we don’t do that in that college. Yeah, you do. You do. I promise you do. And you have people in your field with you. So we’re going to invite them to do some information sessions that might just be, “Hey, here’s how I’ve done it in X field,” right?

Kim Christen: So and if you can think of an information session that you want, let us know. This is this is emerging, right? This is the first time that we’re doing this. And so this this initiative will run for at least three years. We have the funding for three years, and then we’ll go from that. Okay. And so the first thing that we’re offering is, as in the spring, is a community gauged research grant writing workshop.

Kim Christen: And so this is how do I think about writing grants to do community engaged research if I’m not used to doing that? And so we hired a consultant she will be doing she will leading this. It’s four sessions that are 90 minutes long over between February and March. It doesn’t cost anything to do this? But it is limited to 15 participants.

Kim Christen: The applications are due this Friday, November 3rd. It’s a very short application. I promise you. It’s not it’s not like an NIH proposal. It’s a very short application. We just kind of want to know who you are. Why do you want to do the workshop, etc.. And so in that workshop will really help people think at all stages, at all stages.

Kim Christen: So don’t worry about it. But if you’re really thinking, okay, I want to do community engaged research and I want to get funding more than the seed funding and you want to apply for this first round of seed funding. If it were me, I would apply for the seed funding and I would apply to be the grant writing workshop.

Kim Christen: That’s if that’s why we scheduled that that way. So if it was me, I would, I would do both those things that way. Once you actually get the seed funding, you will have completed the workshop and now you’re like, not now. I have the seed money to do the first part. Once the first part, then I got these tools in my toolbox now to actually write the NSF grant towards this community engaged research.

Kim Christen: So any questions about the grant writing workshop? Okay. All right. So these are the other thing I mentioned are the information sessions. And so there will be previously recorded ones that you can view on our website. There are upcoming ones this next week on November 8th, the Preparing for Tribal Engagement in Research will be a great one. And then over the spring we’re going to do many more, as I as I mentioned before.

Kim Christen: Okay, so this is the part where I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking reading slides because that’s awful. I know you all can read, but here’s the basic breakdown. There are actually three tiers. What you see here is Tier Two and Tier Three. Tier One are very small, $1500 to $3000 are travel grants for community engaged research.

Kim Christen: So, could be you’re already working with the community, but you need to go back and do this one thing, right? You need to go into this one thing. Or it could be you’re just starting out, you just met with them once, you’re really trying to get this relationship solidified and like you could spend…if you could go back three times over the course of a semester with that money, you know, something like that.

Kim Christen: So we did the first ones during research week. These ones will not be on a regular cadence. They would sort of be rolling and so that’s why, you know, we will announce when the next one is. So the Tier Two, that’s what’s coming up right now. So the Tier Two is: I’ve not done community engaged research, but I really want to do it.

Kim Christen: I really want to get involved. And here’s why. Right? And so that that’s the Tier Two. So for the Tier Two, it’s up to $10,000. And one of the requirements of that is that you will be in this cohort that we’re working with the CCE and the Office of Research. So in order to receive the funds, you will have to go through that cohort workshop training where you get these fundamentals of what community engage research.

Kim Christen: So we’re putting the two together, not just handing you the pot of money and saying, figure it out yourself. We’re saying that’s fantastic. You want to do this community engage research. Here’s some tools so that you know how to do it well. And you know what you don’t know. And then you can start to ask questions and find other information so the NOI was due today.

Kim Christen: I will say before I walked up here, there were nine or ten NOIs that are in. But you still have till the end of the day. Again, the NOI is very short, less than a page. And then the full proposals will be due on December 3rd. The NOI’s just…notice of intent. You’re just telling us, “Hey, I intend to apply.”

Kim Christen: And that’s so we can construct a review panel that has multiple disciplines for that that reflects the the people who want to apply. So that’s just it. That’s just for us. And it’s also because this is new and we don’t know if we’re going to get 3, 30, or 300 applications. And so we also want to know like how many reviewers do we need?

Kim Christen: So it’s kind of, you know, that way. The next one is the Tier Three…The next one is Tier Three. That one’s up to $20,000. Tier Three are people who’ve already done community engaged research. You’re doing it, this is great, but you’re in between grants, you’re in between a project, you know? There’s something and you need this money to get you to somewhere else, but you’re already doing it.

Kim Christen: Part of the requirements of that is you’ll need a letter from the community that you’re working with. It’s not that we don’t believe you, but you need a letter from the community that you’re working with being like, “Yeah, Kim is working with us. We’re doing this project. We’re hoping to do this,” right? And so that that’s, that, that’s one of the requirements for that. Tier Three,

Kim Christen: another requirement is that within a year, a finishing whatever you said you do in the year that you have the $20,000 is you will submit a grant proposal. I’m not going to call it major. Like what’s major, what’s minor? Like that’s I’m not gonna editorialize, but like, you’re just you’re going to apply for something that makes sense in your field and for that community that you’re working with.

Kim Christen: Right. I don’t know if that’s 5000 or 5 million. I don’t know. So we’re not going to…but you…But we’re seeding you to do something else. So that’s a requirement of the Tier 3, sorry. At the bottom, I think all of you know this, but the one hard and fast requirement for all of the grants are that you have to be a Pullman faculty member.

Kim Christen: That’s because these are funded by the Pullman Chancellor’s office. And that’s why. All right. And extension, Yes, sorry. Pullman…Extension falls under Pullman. I think most Extension people know that. But if you don’t and you’re on the call, Extension is folded under Pullman. Like I said, I already said this. We’re going to be working with the Center for Civic Engagement in the fall for these workshops.

Kim Christen: So I don’t think I’m going to do this. This is that these are all the very technical requirements, and I don’t think I need to tell you like how many words are that you’ll have to write. This is all on the website. So now that I’ve kind of said everything that I think we’ve…Well, I should talk about a little bit about this. Make sure

Kim Christen: one of the things that…And this you should be doing anyway if you haven’t: get to know your finance, your grants person in your college or in your area. Go talk to them. Take them chocolate if they like it. As one person that you want to have on your side is the grants person that does the finances.

Kim Christen: They’re going to approve your budget. So they have to make sure that you have everything in all the right categories. I’ve been doing grants at WSU for 19 years and I still don’t know, like this is what’s zero three? I don’t know. It’s like I think it’s actually goods and services that might be wrong, but they…Your your area finance person, they know, right?

Kim Christen: And they will help you out. So be be nice to them. I mean, you should always be nice to everybody but…especially nice to them.