Research advocates play an important role in helping researchers bring the best science to those affected by cancer. By participating in the development, oversight and dissemination of cancer research, research advocates help to advance research progress and improve patient outcomes.
Why is research advocacy important?
Advocating for cancer research advancement is critical to finding new, and better treatments faster for cancer patients. In collaboration with bench, translational and clinical researchers, research advocates have the opportunity to:
- Provide researchers a diverse and unique perspective from someone who has experienced or been touched by cancer
- Ensure that research is meaningful and relevant to patients/participants
- Increase public trust and improve cancer research credibility in the community
Who are research advocates?
Individuals are selected and engaged based on their interests, experiences and skills. Research advocates may be:
- Cancer survivors
- Family members
- Health professionals
- Community members affected by cancer who wish to support and contribute to the research process
How do advocates support cancer research?
Research advocates support research efforts in ways that include:
- Serve on projects, committees, advisory boards and working groups
- Attend research seminars, conferences and advocate meetings
- Review and provide input on study design, informed consent and recruitment
- Serve as grant reviewers
- Develop patient-oriented educational tools and resources
- Present community educational programs to promote awareness of cancer research and clinical trials
- Develop and conduct advocacy presentations to academic and clinical staff
- Foster community and academic partnerships and initiatives
- Collaborate with local, regional and national cancer organizations to facilitate advocacy participation
Becoming An Advocate
If you have a passion for advocating for the advancement of cancer research, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about joining the VICC Research Advocacy Program. While most of our advocates are cancer survivors or caregivers of someone one affected by cancer, research advocates can also be health professionals or other community members that want to contribute to the research process. The most important qualification is a commitment to helping researchers bring the best science to those affected by cancer.
To talk with someone about getting involved as a research advocate, please contact Abby Shields, Program Manager at (615) 875-8787 or by email.