The Community Research Review Board is made up of Promise Zone residents, stakeholders (e.g., staff at local nonprofits), and researchers. The purpose of the CRRB is to ensure that research conducted in West Philadelphia is reviewed so that it is conducted in a manner that respects community values and benefits the Promise Zone. Specifically, the CRRB is responsible for reviewing proposals and protocols submitted by researchers who are conducting research in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone and providing feedback from the community’s perspective.
In April of 2018, the Promise Zone Research Connection presented a proposal for a Community Research Review Board at the University of Pennsylvania’s Community Scholars Program Spring Symposium. The PZRC was awarded first place honors by the jury, and $3,000 in funding.
The PZRC partnered with the Stern Community Lawyering Clinic (CLC) at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law to develop a governance structure and incorporation guidelines for the PZRC and an operations manual to support the launch of the CRRB.
The Promise Zone Research Connection submitted a poster for the 2019 Community Driven Research Day event. Through that process, we were awarded funds to conduct research on local Institutional Research Review Boards (IRBs).
Currently there are no institutions in Philadelphia dedicated to place-based, cross-institutional oversight of geographically-concentrated research. The IRB Feasibility Study will assess whether and how IRBs track the neighborhoods in which research is conducted, and the feasibility of working collaboratively with a community research review board. The results will be available in early 2022 and will be shared with IRBs, Promise Zone residents and community organizations.
Because the situation of Promise Zone residents has parallels across the city and across country, we hope that the results and recommendations of our study can become a model for our research-burdened communities throughout Philadelphia and the nation.