Wise Practices

Wise Funding Practice

Research Team:  Margaret Robinson (principal investigator), Heather Castleden (co-applicant), Jessica Demeria (co-applicant), Jonathan Salsberg, Wanda Whitebird, Art Zoccole, Doris O’Brien-Teengs.

What is this research about?

Research funding programs aim to be objective and to fund feasible, high-quality research with the best chance for useful outcomes. Unfortunately, commonly used measures of feasibility, quality and usefulness privilege colonial knowledge and take little account of the ways of knowing valued within Indigenous communities.  Current research funding processes are perceived to be inappropriate for, and ill-equipped to understand and equitably review, Indigenous research proposals, and this has become a serious barrier to the funding and development of proposals that truly emerge from Indigenous community needs.

This Wise Funding Practice study sought to identify concrete ways for funding processes to support Indigenous research paradigms and to ensure that the best Indigenous scholarship is funded in the field of HIV research and beyond. The team developed partnerships with Indigenous and ally researchers to design a funding system rooted in Indigenous knowledge, reflective of Indigenous research principles, that understands Indigenous methods, and that values and supports their use.

Using a two-eyed seeing approach that combines the best of Western and Indigenous knowledge, the researchers conducted a scoping literature review of publications addressing funding models and challenges faced by researchers using Indigenous research models and methods. They examined existing peer review funding models to assess the barriers and facilitators to Indigenous research. Using the Indigenous conversation method, the team conducted key informant interviews with stakeholders on both sides of the peer review process, to discuss funding challenges and strengths to determine what needs to be changed and what can be built upon. Recommendations from this project will be implemented through the Indigenous Research Initiatives funding program.

OHTN Support:

This project was supported by a CIHR Catalyst Grant, however OHTN provides staff support, and infrastructure to make the project possible. Margaret Robinson was supported as an OHTN researcher-in-residence at the time that this grant was awarded.

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