36. Do I need a research partner(s) for this funding opportunity?


S4A is a research program that places a high priority on producing scientifically rigorous and credible evidence.  We encourage partnerships between community-based organizations and research institutions to ensure that your research team has the necessary scientific expertise, systems knowledge, implementation capacity, and community expertise to carry out the proposed research.  If your organization is responsible for developing and implementing the proposed System Alignment Strategy that you wish to study, then you are likely to realize important benefits by partnering with an external research institution such as a university or independent research center.  In these cases, an external research partner can provide a neutral and independent perspective on the System Alignment Strategy, and can provide protections against some common sources of research bias such as social desirability bias and motivated reasoning bias.  Additionally, an external research partner may allow your research study to achieve higher levels of credibility with external audiences, and avoid perceptions of research bias, lack of neutrality, or conflicts of interest.  Finally, an external research partner may allow for efficient division of labor by allowing one partner to focus primarily on implementation of the System Alignment Strategy, while allowing the other partner to focus primarily on implementation of research activities.  Of course, all partners should play active and equitable roles in the research design, interpretation of results, and translation of results into actionable strategies for dismantling and disrupting systemic racism.