Research is about finding things out so this can be used to guide what we do in the future. There is research that regularly goes on to get an insight into how people make sense of their health, what their needs are and how we may be able to help. The research we are interested in is public and charitable - that is, work done to understand and improve people's well being from the NHS, universities and other health and social care organisations (like Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation).
People from ethnic minorities do not take part in much research by these organisations and this is a problem because it means that decisions are made about their health which do not include or represent them well. However, they also contribute to the fabric of this society (including as taxpayers funding this research) so it is important they are included in this process.
What are we aiming for
Firstly, to build up a community of people from different backgrounds (personal and professional) who are interested in coming together to do research that can help us better understand when and how we can support people from ethnic minority backgrounds with their physical and mental health needs.
Secondly, to create a pathway for people of ethnic minority origin to access and participate in current, large scale research studies that are currently being done so they can use their voices in the process*. These studies tend to explain what they are exploring and how long the study takes at the start and people are invited to take part only if they want to, for as long as they want to.
Thirdly, a lot of studies now aim to involve members of the public in what is called patient and public involvement (PPI). In short, this means that members of the public and patient groups can get involved in various ways from working with researchers to decide what the research should be about, giving feedback on forms used to explain a study, taking part in a pilot test or helping to share what the whole study has found. We want ethnic minorities to be able to take part in this on a broader scale.
Links to research
You may notice on languages pages that there is a space for further resources for people who speak a particular language or come from a particular region. Some of these resources will be research studies that were done with members of that group. We want to be able to create links to work done with those communities so people can explore a topic further and help build their 'cultural competence'. We also want to make the idea of taking part in research less scary and more understandable by having those resources available.
If you are interested in letting people know about your current research or working together on a study then please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further. We will ask for an abstract, some information about the background of the principal investigator and details on ethical approval status (i.e. whether this is yet to be applied for or if approved the reference number and name of the relevant committee and institution). Please note we are all volunteers so we will aim to respond as we get requests but it may take some time. Those that are relevant to the health needs of ethnic minorities in the UK will be prioritised at this time (this may change if our focus on ethnic minorities widens to other healthcare contexts depending on collaborative networks that are set up).