Research FAQs

1. What is Research?

In simplest terms, research is “the gathering of data or information for the creation of knowledge and understanding”. Research can take many forms, including conducting interviews, gathering samples of data, searching the internet or even reading a book. In academic settings, research adheres to certain standards and processes intended to ensure a high level of quality and accuracy within the research findings. Academic research can be done purely for the sake of the research or it can be done with a specific outcome in mind.

  • Pure research is done simply for the sake of gathering information. It may not necessarily have a clear application at the time but can eventually lead to greater understandings of the world around us and contribute to broader knowledge about a specific topic.
  • Goal-oriented research is aimed at making positive changes in specific areas. For example, it can be directed toward improving health, revitalizing cultures and languages, mitigating environment impacts, creating jobs and strengthening economies.

2. What is community-based research?

Community-based research is a collaborative approach to research that is performed in an equitable partnership between researchers and community members (and/or their representatives). Community-based research is informed by the needs of the community and is goal-oriented, with outcomes intended to benefit the community.

In community-based research, all partners provide input and expertise throughout all stages of the project, including determining the research question or objective, providing wisdom and expertise, and sharing in decision-making.

3. What is Indigenous research?

In the case of Indigenous community-based research, ethics play a major role. The research imperative is driven by the Indigenous community and the project is community-led, which means that the research team honours and follows community protocols and practices and decisions are guided by community partners. Ownership of research findings and project outcomes reside with the Indigenous community partner and is shared according to their discretion.

4. How does Collaborative research support Indigenous communities?

Collaborative research can benefit Indigenous communities in a number of ways. It can:

  • Improve decision-making, by providing background information and trends that support effective decisions
  • Build capacity within the community, including human resource capacity
  • Create and strengthen economic opportunities
  • Advance specific community priorities, such as culture and language revitalization or youth training and employment

See examples of ways collaborative research is benefiting Indigenous communities. MORE