C4. Grow your research skills

Employees working for CSOs rarely have a research background (unless the CSO contains specific research elements). There are different levels of commitment that a CSO could make to its own research (or research funding) capacities in-house:

  • invest in current staff through basic training in scientific research with a relevant specialism

  • recruit a research advisor to make the link between the CSO’s activities and mission-relevant research projects

  • a research unit or even a separate research centre could be established.

Each level of commitment or potential stage of development would need to follow a clear strategy and adequate funding.

Guiding Questions

The following questions could guide CSO leaders in their decision-making:

  • Do we have adequate funding to support the creation of a new body/set of activities?

  • Will we be able to train our staff to participate in the project?

  • Do some of our staff members already have research skills or interests?

Example: Home-care services research in a CSO

A CSO specialised in research and in home-care services for people with disabilities. This CSO was approached to be a partner precisely because of their research credentials. The CSO had recruited an academic researcher with a background in occupational therapy who had researched emerging health technologies. The CSO’s role was to provide patient access to the researchers and technology developers for testing and feedback purposes. The CSO also supported the ethical governance of the project.