We aim to fund research that will make an immediate impact on breast cancer. We believe that the best way to achieve this goal is to utilize the talents and knowledge of all members of the breast cancer community. Advocates are closer to the practical applications of the research findings and can identify the needs of patients, families and communities that still need to be addressed. They help to ensure that the research is relevant and that the research findings are applied as soon as it is feasible.
A growing body of evidence shows that health and medical research benefits from being directly informed by the experiences and knowledge of those affected: those who have or had the disease, those who care for people with the disease or those who represent a specific community impacted by the disease. These people can become advocates for their community by helping scientists identify the needs of patients, families and communities and offering a practical perspective on research topics, methods and results. Working through community organizations — such as community clinics, breast cancer advocacy or women's health organizations, and other groups serving women with breast cancer — these advocates help to ensure that the research is relevant and that the research findings are applied as soon as it is feasible.
Therefore, we require that breast cancer or other appropriate community advocates be actively involved in the research we fund. Applicants are expected to work with advocates affiliated with an organization. Advocates from outside California participate in the peer review of every application, and California-based advocates represent one-third of the CBCRP council membership.
Advocate involvement is required for all projects we fund. Learn more about the requirements >
How does advocacy involvement strengthen breast cancer research?
- Focuses research on questions of greatest relevance
- Provides encouragement to researchers and emphasizes the urgency of finding solutions
- Improves the quality of the research (e.g., increases validity of survey instruments, improves recruitment and retention of participants, encourages culturally sensitive interpretation of findings)
- Encourages practical application of research findings
- Facilitates more effective dissemination of research findings to affected communities, health care providers, and policymakers
- Increases funding for research
- Informs lay people about the research that affects their lives, families and communities
- Empowers advocates to guide the breast cancer research agenda to answer their questions