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Community of Practice: Planning a Collaborative Research Project (2015-2016)

Answering the call of The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention’s “A Prioritized Research Agenda for Suicide Prevention” to promote research collaborations in order to reduce the burden of suicide, this Community of Practice was intended for suicide researchers and injury, suicide or violence prevention practitioners from state, tribal or community agencies and organizations. This CoP aimed to:

  • Create a shared body of knowledge and skills for designing a public health-related, collaborative research project, focused on suicide prevention;
  • Help participants generate project ideas, form teams, and gain momentum on collaborative research projects;
  • Assist in the development of competitive applications to the 2016 ICRC-S Research Training Institute (RTI)

Monthly webinars, grounded in real world case studies of successful collaborative research projects, explore specific steps in the research design process, while fielding audience questions about overcoming challenges. These webinars took place from September 2015 through February 2016. Topics covered included:

  • The principles of collaboration
  • Developing a research question, aim, and plan
  • Forming a team
  • The importance of cultural competency
  • Getting institutional buy-in
  • Submitting for IRB approval
  • Finding funding opportunities

On this page, you will find archives of the monthly webinars.

Planning a Collaborative Research Project Webinars

(September 18, 2015)

During the first meeting of the Planning a Collaborative Research Project Community of Practice (CoP), participants will learn about the goals and expectations for the CoP, be introduced to the case studies the CoP will explore, learn more about the 2016 RTI and receive the call for applications.

(October 16, 2015)

Title: You Know a Tree by Its Fruit: Collaborative Research Projects in Suicide Prevention

This second community of practice (CoP) session in the ICRC-S 2015-16 series will focus on initiating and developing suicide prevention research collaborations. Get ready and stay ready for successful research partnerships by reviewing purposes, principles and practices – topics that lay a foundation for remaining CoP sessions and for your upcoming application to the ICRC-S’s 2016 Research Training Institute.


Ann Marie White, EdD is Director of the Office of Mental Health Promotion (OMHP) and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She leads department-level change initiatives to deepen Psychiatry's community engagement via service, education and research. OMHP oversees community, consumer and diversity affairs for Psychiatry faculty and staff. Dr. White directs local and national training activities in collaborative research to infuse scientific inquiries with mental health-related policy and program activities of communities. She promotes mental health supporting behaviors, services utilization and mental illness prevention strategies within community-based settings. She conducts multimedia education to develop civic engagement among youth and young adults from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds. Her research interests focus on successful transitions into adulthood.

(November 20, 2015)

This third Community of Practice (CoP) session in the ICRC-S 2015-16 series will focus on “Developing a (Fundable) Research Question, Aim and Plan.” Learn about resources and strategies that you can use to create a fundable proposal for suicide prevention research collaborations. You’ll also hear what funders are looking for in a proposal, some common pitfalls researchers should avoid, and how you can take your passions and interests and turn them into science.  You will also hear from one experienced researcher as she shares her practical experience related to this topic.  This CoP is designed to continue to lay a foundation for the remaining sessions and for your upcoming application to the ICRC-S’s 2016 Research Training Institute.


Jane Pearson, Ph.D., chairs the National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Suicide Research Consortium. She is the Associate Director for Preventive Interventions in the Division of Services and Intervention Research, and she is currently leading the staffing for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Research Prioritization Task Force.

Catherine Cerulli, J.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Cerulli is the Director of the Susan B. Anthony Center and the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization.

(December 18, 2015)

This fourth Community of Practice (CoP) session in the ICRC-S’s 2015-2016 series, Planning a Collaborative Research Project, will focus on “Forming a Collaborative Research Team.”  This webinar will highlight the experiences of Dr. Susan Keys in building a collaborative relationship and research agenda to address high rates of suicide in Central Oregon. She will identify factors to consider when pairing academic research interests with a community's need to solve problems.  Additionally, she will discuss the implications of cultural context when developing and implementing a suicide prevention initiative and how this relates to a current research project focused on firearm safety, suicide prevention, and primary care.  Dr. Yeates Conwell will add his perspective on the different “levels” of community-based research and place partnership development between academic and community stakeholders into a theoretical context. He will use the ongoing work of the Rochester area’s Senior Health and Research Alliance to illustrate partnership development processes.   

This Community of Practice webinar is designed to lay a foundation for your upcoming application to the ICRC-S’s 2016 Research Training Institute.

Unfortunately, due to technical issues, the webinar recording will not be available for this webinar.

(January 15, 2016)

The fifth Community of Practice (CoP) session in the ICRC-S’s 2015-2016 series, Planning a Collaborative Research Project, will provide insights on “Preparing to Submit an Application for IRB Review.”  Bretta Jacquemin, Research Scientist at the Center for Health Statistics and Informatics at the New Jersey Department of Health, will give a brief overview of the federal regulations regarding the protection of human subjects, highlighting the definitions of “research” and “human subject” and explaining how local practices may be more expansive than federal guidelines.  She will also discuss the components of a complete IRB application, the different types of IRB review, and how an application is read by a reviewer.  She will then provide some examples of studies and the logic used in the review of those studies. Dr. Bryann DeBeer, a participant in the ICRC-S’s 2014 Research Training Institute (RTI), will discuss her experiences in submitting research projects for IRB review. In particular, she will outline considerations for gaining IRB approval for RTI projects, including the timeline of project submission, tips for completing the IRB application, anticipation of challenges and strategies for overcoming challenges, and special considerations for suicide prevention research.

(February 19, 2016)

This sixth Community of Practice (CoP) session in the ICRC-S 2015-16 series, Planning a Collaborative Research Project, will focus on getting institutional buy-in for a collaborative research project.  This webinar will reach back to the 3 research projects which were presented in the September 2015 kick-off of this webinar series to hear the perspectives of the community partners in those projects.  Kathy Plum  and Melanie Funchess from the research project “Addressing Mental Health Promotion in Neighborhoods: The Natural Helpers Learning Collaborative”, Ann Marie Cook from “The Senior Connection”, and Sally J. Rousseau from “Exploring Suicide and Domestic Violence Risk Factors Across Disciplines” will all discuss their successful efforts in getting their organizations’ support for participating in the research studies, including the challenges they faced in getting institutional buy-in, the benefits to their organizations from participation in the research projects, and the lessons learned.  This webinar will be particularly useful to those who are interested in embarking on collaborative research projects and want to understand the community partner perspective.  

(August 11, 2016)

A Webinar for Early Career Suicide Prevention Researchers and Practitioners

This Community of Practice (CoP) webinar took place on Thursday, August 11, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and addressed two topics of interest to many early career researchers – career development and disseminating your research results. Eric Caine, MD and Yeates Conwell, MD, both Co-Directors of the ICRC-S, were the featured presenters.

(September 29, 2016)

Sleep Disturbance and Its Relationship to Suicidal Thought and Behavior: A Cross Cutting Risk Factor and Low Stigma Opportunity for Intervention

While the use of communication strategies is becoming increasingly popular in public health approaches to suicide prevention, few efforts regularly adopt recommended practices associated with successful messaging including the use of data to drive campaign activities. In this webinar, Dr. Karras provided guidance in this area by discussing empirical methods to inform the development and evaluation of suicide prevention messaging, and presented examples of those utilized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to assess outcomes associated with VA sponsored campaigns. She concluded her presentation with discussion of and recommendations for a framework for the effective use of suicide prevention communications. Sleep disturbance has been identified as a risk factor associated with suicidal thought and behavior and may represent a low stigma presenting problem for initiating psychotherapy. Dr. Bishop briefly reviewed the literature regarding relationships among sleep disturbance and suicidal thought and behavior and discussed ongoing work in the development of interventions to simultaneously address sleep, depression, and suicide, and the importance of this work to the Veteran community.

(November 10, 2016)

This webinar focused on the use of student-generated social media data to detect and monitor behavior patterns predictive of risk for suicide and self-injury. The Durkheim Project Application (DPA) is an existing digital technology, originally designed to apply machine learning algorithms to social media data to improve identification of risk for suicide in veterans. The presenters, Molly Adrian, Ph.D. and Aaron Lyon, Ph.D. of the University of Washington discussed their research into applying the DPA as a universal suicide prevention strategy to a general high school population in order to examine the extent to which student-generated social media data provide the information needed to accurately predict and reduce suicide risk compared to more traditional paper-and-pencil screening approaches.

(January 26, 2017)

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a collaborative research approach that is designed to ensure meaningful participation by communities in all aspects of the research process. (1) This webinar focused on how to develop and sustain research collaborations for suicide prevention and describe purposes, principles, pitfalls and practices of these partnership systems.  The presenter, Dr. Ann Marie White, also discussed examples of collaborative research projects and how co-leadership with community stakeholders can advance the prevention of suicide. 

(1) Viswanathan, M. et al. (July 2004). Community based Participatory Research: Assessing the Evidence.  AHRQ Publication No. 04 - E022 2.