In response to the failure of our letter of intent to SSHRC to establish the Canadian Rural and Northern Research Partnership, CRRF and RDI are proposing an alternative approach to creating such a partnership – one that builds directly on the considerable capacity already represented among our researchers and research-related centres. To that end, we invite you to join us by offering some of your skills, infrastructure, resources, and/or knowledge. Membership in the partnership can be acquired by a making a significant contribution to the partnership, and reporting to the partnership staff regarding the activities relating to those pledges. Membership will continue as long as the pledges and reports are active.
A “significant contribution” can take many forms depending on your capacity and resources. We leave the definition open to reflect this variation and to ensure that all groups, large and small, may benefit from the collaboration and resources that the partnership will generate. Some examples may help:
- Attending a partner’s event is a contribution, but a “significant contribution” would be to pledge that attendees provide a report on the lessons learned to all your members or other groups.
- Agreeing to be a member of a partnership funding proposal would be a contribution, but a “significant contribution” would be to initiate such a proposal, help to write it, or to provide a letter of support.
- Adding information regarding your research to the partnership clearinghouse would be a contribution, but a “significant contribution” would be to offer staff support for maintaining the site, broker information from community groups that do not have the capacity to contribute to the site, or to provide infrastructure to house the site.
- Notifying your network about new initiatives on a rural data clearinghouse would be a contribution, but a “significant contribution” would be to offer tools and/or feedback to rural organizations or individuals asking how to develop a business plan or craft an application for support.
As you consider your potential pledges you may find it useful to scan the attached list of activities that we had assembled as part of our proposal to SSHRC. The more specific you can make your pledges, the better. You can also see a copy of the full proposal as sent to SSHRC via http://billreimer.net/workshop/research/Partnership2011/CRRFRDIPartnershipLOIToSSHRC20110131ShortProtected.pdf. The password for access is “partnership”.
As founding member with RDI, CRRF pledges that we:
- Will provide the personnel to initiate the partnership, collect and monitor pledges, and report to our inaugural meeting at the CRRF conference on October
- Will prepare a report on the initial meeting – to be distributed to potential partners
- Will provide server space for the initial versions of the research clearinghouse
- Will guide the discussion regarding the establishment of a governance structure to manage the partnership
- Will promote the partnership on all our communications (web, newsletters, conference materials, etc.)
We will be holding a session at the CRRF conference in St. John’s on October 15th (4:30-6:30 PM) where we welcome the participation of all those interested in organizing a rural research partnership. We will arrange for teleconference access for any of you who cannot make it to St. John’s so please let us know if you are interested in participating and/or contributing. Prepare your pledges for that meeting (let us know ahead of time if possible, so that we can discuss them at the meeting.
We hope you are excited by the possibilities of this partnership. As indicated in our letter of intent we feel that there is much to be gained by pooling our considerable capacity and we look forward to demonstrating how it can be done by the collaboration and cooperation we advocate for our rural and northern communities themselves.