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International Polar Year

Nuts and Bolts of Research:  Community Based Skills Development and Training Program

Funded by International Polar Year (IPY)

The training course “Nuts and Bolts of Research” was a community based skills development and training program designed and run by Professor Gita Sharma, Endowed Chair of Indigenous and Global Health, University of Alberta. Professor Sangita Sharma was assisted by Dr. Francis Zotor and Megan Lukasewich, both members of the Indigenous and Global Health Research Group. The training session took place over a three day period in the fall of 2011 at Aurora College in Inuvik, Northwest Territories (NT) and was funded by the International Polar Year. The session was also supported both by the Aurora College and the Aurora Research Institute.

Participants were provided with a better understanding of health research and training on how to build a research project from the ground up, emphasizing culturally relevant topics and approaches. Participants learned how to:

  • Design a research question; choose the right methods for the research question; collect and analyze research data; present research findings to the community; use the data gathered to develop community programs; analyze data and use the results to inform policy

  • Participants increased their competitiveness in the workforce, gained new skills in research design, methods and communications and experience to complement their studies or work, and improved awareness of how research can inform local program and policy development.

Topics covered in the session included:

  • How to develop a research question

  • The role that research can play in a community

  • Ways of developing research projects in collaboration with communities (including gaining approvals from university ethics boards, community ethics (ownership, control, access, possession (OCAP) and research licensing).

  • The importance of community leadership and their involvement in the research process

  • Basics of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches

  • Sampling strategies

  • Data collection methods

  • Basics of data analysis

  • The importance of data dissemination

  • Knowledge translation and transfer

  • Capacity building

A total of 23 participants attended the training course. The participants were from different communities within the Northwest Territories and included individuals from Sachs Harbor Community Corporation, the Office Administration Program at Aurora College, Inuvik Justice Committee, Aklavik H.pylori Project, Beaufort Delta Health and Social Services, Aurora Research Institute, Ulukhaktok Community Corporation, and Inuvik Community Corporation.



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