Getting started

Recruiting Community Researchers

Recruitment is part of the getting started stage and worth spending time on. Start by preparing a recruitment information sheet. Aim to recruit about 6-12 people. Community Researchers can be volunteers, committee members or individuals active or interested in your organisation or the community. What is important is that they have knowledge and experience of the community; that they are keen to take on a new role, and that they have the time to commit to the project. They don’t need to know about research as training and support is provided.

Developing a code of practice

A Code of Practice (research ethics) sets out the ground rules or reference point for conducting your research project. It clarifies what is expected from good research. This includes protecting participants’ confidentiality and anonymity. It should also highlight the attitudes and behaviours of the Community Researchers such as using active listening and not being judgmental. In a Community-led Research project, it is important to get the Team involved in creating their own list or Code of Practice and to widen their understanding of what doing good research means.

Building skills and confidence

Building skills enables the Community Researcher Team to take on their role with confidence. This is best achieved through participation, using exercises and group work. For example, at the start of the project active listening skills can be used in an introductory activity, and piloting questionnaires and interviews provides valuable practice and learning. Interaction between the Team members helps to build confidence. It is also important to develop the knowledge base of the Team in relation to the research topic so they feel informed and confident in their role.


  • Recruit Community Researchers from volunteers, committee and community members.
  • Make sure that they know what is expected including the time commitment.
  • Create a Code of Practice to ensure there are clear safeguards such as confidentiality.
  • Use practical exercises and group work to build skills and confidence.


Code Resource Description
2a Recruitment information sheet Information to help you inform and recruit a team of voluntary Community Researchers
2b Developing a code of practice An exercise to use with groups for encouraging discussion and developing their own Code of Practice.