Superfund Research Program
Research Translation Core
Promoting bidirectional communication and collaboration between researchers and stakeholders, particularly community members, is critical for advancing research translation and achieving environmental health justice. When a mutual sense of interest, purpose, and trust are shared, stakeholders can build partnerships to produce co-generated solutions. Many factors influence the dynamics and growth of these relationships. The University of Arizona Superfund Research Program Research Translation Core is dedicated to understanding stakeholder needs and expectations in translational efforts and to teaching these participatory approaches in formal and informal settings. Through current UA SRP RTC activities, the researchers are examining the level of participation and role of stakeholders. Example activities include the: a) Center for Environmental Sustainable Mining, b) Cooperative Extension's private well water workshops, c) Gardenroots: A Citizen Science Garden Project, d) Dewey-Humboldt, AZ Community Advisory Board, and e) quarterly multi-organizational transdisciplinary team conference calls. As these activities have developed, the researchers are demonstrating that there is a participatory spectrum and the role of stakeholders may change over time. They have identified methods such as the Industry-Academic Cooperative, and participatory approaches to research that both scientists and nonscientists can use to overcome barriers to research translation and foster growth. The end result is that the UA-SRP RTC is successfully training students, community members, and other stakeholders in translational studies and public participatory approaches to research.