Utah State University’s Institutional Review Board has been awarded a multi-year grant from USU’s Diversity Council.
The grant will assist researchers in paying for the translation of research documents, including consent forms and research policies and procedures, into a language that is easily understood by all research participants.
IRB Director, Nicole Vouvalis said it is important for all research participants to understand what they are consenting to.
“Consent forms need to be written in a way that participants can understand,” Vouvalis said. “If you’re working with children, you need to write in a level of language they will understand. If you’re working with the Hispanic or Latino populations, documents need to be translated.”
Knowing that translation of documents can take time and add an unforeseen cost to a research project, Vouvalis applied for the Diversity Council Grant.
“I understand translations can be a pain point because they’re expensive, and if you don’t speak the language fluently, you have to find someone else to do the translation for you,” Vouvalis said. “I wanted to help make the translation process easier for everyone.”
The grant will allow USU’s IRB office to absorb all translation costs of research projects approved to receive grant funding through the 2017-2018 academic year.
To be eligible to receive funding, a research project must not already be funded. It must have a broad outreach to the community, and it must serve the underserved communities within Cache Valley, by providing educational materials with the consent form.
An example of a research project which would be considered to receive funding is a project focused on surveying second grade school children to learn about their snacking habits.
If not already funded, this project would be considered because it has a broad community outreach by surveying a large sample of Cache Valley second graders.
It would also serve the underserved communities in Cache Valley by providing information with the consent form about healthy snack options, grocery stores that provide free healthy snacks to children in Cache Valley, or healthy recipe ideas.
If a research project does not receive funding through the IRB grant, it can still receive a 10% discount on translations through inlingua Utah.
inlingua Utah is a language training organization located in Salt Lake City. It is a Utah owned, minority owned, women owned organization that provides language classes, interpreters, and translations.
Don Durham, business development director of inlingua Utah said the company will provide a discount to USU researchers because it supports the furtherance of knowledge.
“As linguists, education is a core value for inlingua Utah,” Durham said. “Any gesture we can make to help educational institutions be more successful is important to us. We also know these researchers are mostly grad students who are on tight budgets, so it also makes us feel good to help someone out if we can.”
For Vouvalis, the best part of making the process of translation easier for researchers is knowing more individuals within the community will benefit from the research being conducted.
“We want our research to be even more relevant to individuals’ day to day lives,” Vouvalis said. “We’re not just researchers that sit up on a hill and look through a microscope. We’re more than that.”
Researchers interested in receiving grant funding for translations or interested in discussing the translation process and options can contact Nicole Vouvalis directly at Nicole.Vouvalis@usu.edu.