Professors Fanita Tyrell and Arianna Gard are conducting a study to understand barriers to participation in biosocial research, what community members want to learn from research, and how to strengthen university-community partnerships. This study is called Representation And Research Ethics (RARE) and is designed to elevate the experiences and perspectives of people of color. “Research is often scientist-driven. This project tries to flip that narrative by applying a community-based participatory framework.” -Dr. Gard
Biosocial research (i.e., approaches that combine methods from biological and social science disciplines) has been enormously effective in elucidating how environments shape human health and wellbeing. Yet this research overwhelmingly consists of either White researchers studying White participants or White researchers studying people of color (Roberts et al., 2020). Moreover, even when people of color are included in research, they are often recruited from low SES backgrounds (Cauce et al., 1998), which confounds race-ethnicity, culture, and social class and may perpetuate deficit-based stereotypes about marginalized groups.
In the future, Tyrell and Gard envision the development of a community-based research registry that will serve as a University-wide resource for faculty across UMD. Indeed, they are already partnering with Professor Collin Mueller (BSOS-SOCY), and hope to eventually engage with faculty in other departments. Drs. Tyrell and Gard have received funding through Society for Research on Child Development, BSOS’s Dean’s Research Initiative, and Psychology’s Broadening Participation Initiative. “We’re excited about launching this project and look forward to learning more about our local community!” -Dr. Tyrell