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about Research Advocacy

Are you interested in breast cancer research? Do you want to help shape the breast cancer research field? If so, then you might want to consider becoming a research advocate.

Research advocacy, as defined by the Research Advocacy Network, involves:
  • Driving the questions research tries to answer
  • Protecting the patients who participate in research
  • Disseminating research results

Although many research advocates are breast cancer survivors, you do not have to have had breast cancer to become a research advocate.

What do breast cancer research advocates do?

  • Work with researchers as they develop research proposals and, if funded, as they carry out their work
  • Participate in peer review of new grant applications
  • Serve as members of Institutional Review Boards and/or Protocol Review Committees that review the safety and scientific merit of clinical trial protocols
  • Help translate and disseminate scientific information in their communities
  • Educate patients and the public about clinical trials
  • Serve on advisory boards of research-related organizations such as the American Cancer Society

Research Advocacy Training Programs

A number of national organizations provide the training necessary for women and men who are interested in becoming effective research advocates. You may be interested in the following programs:

National Breast Cancer Meetings

At many national conferences, prominent cancer scientists and clinicians hold review sessions specifically tailored for research advocates. These sessions also give research advocates the opportunity to share experiences and best practices among themselves. Many national meetings have reduced registration fees for advocates. Some provide scholarships that cover both registration and travel expenses, or work with organizations that offer scholarships. These are some of the national meetings that have programs for advocates with links to information about scholarships for registration and travel expenses:

Note: The following links may refer to an annual or bi-annual meeting that has already taken place. To find the most current meeting date, go to the home page of the host organization.