Training and technical assistance efforts for community based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships have the potential to improve outcomes in both scientific rigor and collaboration. Successful competition for regional or national funding for CBPR represents a critical step in this trajectory. To this end, a collaboration funded through this NIEHS award has developed and implemented an intensive training program (Community Based Research Infrastructure to Better Science [CRIBS]) to build capacity among community-academic teams to conduct CBPR into disparities in breast cancer and/or environmental causes of breast cancer. The program includes face-to-face training; online training; mock grant review; and technical assistance (TA); and skill-building in creating CBPR partnerships; understanding the science of the environmental causes of and disparities in breast cancer; creating a pathway from vision to project; and writing successful grant applications. Participants in the training included 31 individuals in 12 partnerships with at least one community and one academic member in each. Fifty-five percent of participants identified as belonging to an ethnic or racial minority group; 81% identified as female; 58% identified as community partners; the mean age was 49.76 years old (median = 52; range = 23 to 71). Partnerships came from twelve locations across California. TA efforts began in the second month of F2F trainings and included: a) four, monthly, tailored, in-person consultations of up to 1.5 hrs in length; b) review of an 8-page concept paper prepared by each team; c) four, monthly, tailored one-hour phone consultations. TA was provided by CRIBS staff and representatives from national funding organizations with expertise in scientific and collaborative aspects of breast cancer research, as well as by experts in the field of CBPR, disparities, and the environment. Over time, improved clarity and specificity were evident in the research questions formulated across partnerships. Implications of tailored, technical assistance for partnerships embarking on CBPR in disparities are discussed.
Citation Format: Senaida Fernandez, Marj Plumb, Catherine Thomsen, Braun Susan, Heather Sarantis, Juliana van Olphen, Emily Galpern, Marion Kavanaugh-Lynch. Technical assistance as part of capacity building for collaborative research in breast cancer, the environment, and/or disparities. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Fifth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2012 Oct 27-30; San Diego, CA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2012;21(10 Suppl):Abstract nr B05.