Resources for Developing Community Engaged Research Agreements

Community engaged research involving meaningful engagement on environmental justice topics and work conducted collectively by academic, community organizations, and governmental agency partners can benefit from clearly defined relationships established through agreements, memoranda of understanding, or other types of documents.

These documents are used to clearly articulate roles and responsibilities and shared values and principles.

The agreements often describe issues of governance and project management, such as how decisions are made within the collective, and how disputes are resolved.

Other topics such as data ownership and sharing are described in the agreements to avoid harmful extractive research practices.

Practices that should be followed with respect to sharing credit and co-authorship on communications, presentations, and publications can be part of these agreements, as well as clearly stated goals for dissemination of information and knowledge back to communities participating in the research.

There are numerous resources available to serve as templates for developing fit-for-purpose agreements for community engaged research projects: