Communicating With Your Organization

As an outreach worker you may be invited to help a research team with a research project.


The following are questions to be discussed with your employer.

Before the Research Begins

Does our agency already have policies and procedures regarding involvement in research?

  • This question could be asked at any time, even before being approached by a research team.

Do we need a written agreement (memorandum of understanding) with the research team?

Will my agency be identified by name in the final results? Will it be easily identified even if the name is not included?

Will this research improve satisfaction with my job? Will it provide me with opportunities for professional growth?

Will this research interfere with us reaching our program goals? Will it help us to better accomplish our program goals?

Are there any conflicts of interest for our organization in particpating?

Can I work on this during my normal work hours?

Are there any risks or potential consequences to the farmworkers who participate? If so, what efforts will be made to protect them?

Are there risks to me that I should be aware of?


During the Research Process

How should I communicate clearly both to my supervisor and the research team what I am able to accomplish and by when?

  • For example, if crises occur (such as illness in myself or my family or a natural diaster like a hurricane) and I cannot meet the research deadlines, who will I contact on the research team?

Is there a need or an opportunity for my supervisor to meet or talk with the research team and myself?


After the Research is Complete

Research can improve conditions in communities if communities hear about the results in a way that they can understand and act upon.

How will the results be communicated back to me?

  • The most common way of communicating research results is publishing a paper in a scientific journal. For the most part, these journals are only read by other researchers and use specialized, scientific vocabulary.

Will the researchers make the extra effort to communicate directly with me in a way that is comfortable for me to understand?

How will the results be communicated back to the farmworkers?

  • The most common way of communicating results back to participants is through a community meeting. Who will be responsible for organizing and paying for this meeting?
  • Other methods include using media such as web pages, newspapers, or television coverage. Less common methods involve making phone calls to participants, or giving them a handout with their personal study results or overall study results.

How do the researchers plan to communicate their results?

Will they have money to pay for this after the data is collected?

Will they hire interpreters and translators if needed?

Will they have to wait until after their paper is published to share the results? How long will that take?

How will the results be communicated back to my agency?

Would the researchers be willing to schedule a meeting with interested members of my agency to explain the results to them?

How can these results be used by my agency in planning for the future, developing new services, or in grant applications and fund raising?