University of Wisconsin–Madison

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What services do you offer to researchers without funding?

    WINRS provides an initial consultation at no cost. This brief consultation is intended to:

    • Determine if there is a fit between researcher needs and WINRS services
    • Share strategies for recruiting, working with, and retaining diverse populations of study participants and stakeholders
    • Offer advice on budgeting for successful patient/community engagement
    • Suggest additional resources or strategies that might benefit the researcher’s program of research

    WINRS will also provide limited ongoing consultation directly related to grant development, including:

    • Prepare detailed scope of work document and budget for WINRS consultation services
    • Provide letter of support
    • Review and provide recommendations on grant sections related to study participant/stakeholder recruitment and ongoing engagement
  • Are your services relevant for only specific types of researchers?

    WINRS services are relevant for any researcher working with people (human subjects) as research participants or study advisors. We have worked with researchers in a wide variety of departments, including Surgery, Family Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Rheumatology, Cardiology, Social Work and more.
    While we work with researchers doing CBPR, our services are relevant to anyone working with people, regardless of the specific research topic, setting, methodology, or study population. Our training programs can be adapted for any patient or community population.

  • I am writing a proposal for a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) grant. How can WINRS help me?

    Please contact us early in your grant-writing process to discuss how we can:

    • Advise you on recruitment, training, and effective maintenance of stakeholder advisory boards.
    • Develop a tailored training program to fit your specific needs
    • Offer coaching on effective meeting practices
    • Arrange and facilitate meetings with the CARDS® to review your strategies and materials.
  • I already work with a patient or community advisory board to get feedback on my research materials. How can WINRS help me?

    We can provide training for patient stakeholder and community advisory boards. Our training programs help to “level the playing field” between group members and give all members a shared understanding of common terms and effective group processes.
    A meeting with the CARDS® gives you access to the voices of socioeconomic groups who are underrepresented in research activities. Their “real-life feedback” on recruitment materials, interview questions, focus group scripts, consent forms, etc. often differs profoundly from the perspectives of professionals embedded in leadership roles. Whether you are recruiting from the general population or from underrepresented groups, CARDS® feedback is invaluable for helping you understand how to remove barriers to participation and to appeal to the widest range of people possible.

  • What do WINRS services cost?

    Please contact us to discuss your needs and obtain a fee schedule. We offer the CARDS® service on a per-meeting basis and consultation services in half-day and full-day increments. Our fees for training are variable and are based on the type, length, and complexity of training.

  • Do I have to be in Madison to use WINRS services?

    No, you do not have to be in Madison. Please contact us to discuss your needs and explore options such as teleconferences or site visits.

  • I am recruiting participants for my study. Can I invite the CARDS® to participate?

    If you attend a CARDS® meeting, you can get feedback on your recruitment strategies and generate new ideas for recruitment. You may also distribute your recruitment materials after the meeting. We do not use meeting time to help researchers recruit the CARDS®, and we do not share contact information for the CARDS®  without their permission.

  • The IRB already approved my recruitment materials and consent form. Doesn’t that mean that my materials are appropriate for my target audience?

    The IRB approval process focuses on the protection of human subjects, not on suitability of materials for a particular target audience. WINRS services can help you create materials that are more inviting, comprehensible, and relevant for diverse populations.

  • I know a lot about health literacy principles and plain language guidelines. Why should I consider using your services?

    Use of these guidelines alone cannot ensure that materials are acceptable, accessible or inviting to the public. WINRS offers advice on tone, graphics, order of information, culturally sensitive language, and on other strategies to effectively engage populations often labeled “hard to reach”.

    Using our services to “pre-test” materials, such as survey or interview questions, can save time and money.