About the Study

About the Partnership

Animated Model

CIROP Measure

Measurement Tools


About the Research Study (What We Did and Why)

Development of a Tool to Measure the Impact 
of Research Oriented Partnerships

Research partnerships between universities and community organizations or groups are increasing in number in Canada and elsewhere. These partnerships are thought to produce knowledge that informs community members and leads to more efficient service delivery, more effective clinical programs, and enhanced community development. However, there is little concrete evidence of these benefits. One reason there is little evidence is the lack of a reliable and valid tool to measure various types of community impacts on a general level. We need to be better able to describe and demonstrate the benefits of research partnerships from the perspective of community members.

Researchers from five community-university research partnerships from Ontario, Canada, joined together to develop a reliable and valid survey to measure the community impacts of research partnerships between universities and community agencies. The five partnerships included:

A Model of the Types of Community Impacts of Research Partnerships

We began by creating a model that outlines three major areas of impact that correspond to the core functions of collaborative research partnerships discussed in the research literature (i.e., knowledge generation, research education and training, and knowledge sharing; see Currie et al., 2005). 

Access our interactive, Animated Model of Impact.

How We Developed the CIROP

We created items for the measure based on: 

  1. items of impact from the research literature that reflected the 3 mid-term impact domains in our Impact Model (i.e., Knowledge Enhancement, Research Skill Enhancement, and Information Use). 
  2. information gained from focus groups with key informants. 

To evaluate whether our measure was reliable and valid, we invited community members and researchers, involved in any way with our Partnerships, to complete the CIROP. This testing provided us with feedback about how to refine the tool. We are currently working on an article describing the detailed development of this instrument.

Introducing the CIROP Measure

The CIROP will inform research partnerships about the amount of impact, if any, they are having on their target audiences in the areas of Knowledge Enhancement, Research Skill Development, and Information Use. This tool is designed to measure the impact of research partnerships (in the social and health service sectors) from the perspective of community members and researchers (i.e., those receiving information or services from the partnership, or those involved in the partnership).

Uses of the CIROP Measure

Research partnerships wishing to evaluate their effectiveness may invite the intended users or beneficiaries of their partnerships knowledge sharing and education efforts to complete the CIROP. This instrument also will allow community stakeholders and advisory boards to capture the success of their collaborative research initiatives.

The CIROP Measure

Get a free copy of the final version of the CIROP Measure

Other Evaluation Materials Available for Research Partnerships

In the process of developing the CIROP Measure, we have created other structured data-gathering forms and checklists to be used by research partnerships. These items will also be available through our website.


The CIROP Respondent Form

The CIROP Respondent Form is a brief questionnaire that can accompany the CIROP Measure. The purpose of this form is to gather descriptive background information about those who are completing the CIROP Measure. The information collected on the CIROP Respondent Form will help a research partnership to better understand the respondent's relationship to, or interaction with, a specific research partnership.

CIROP Respondent Form 

Research Contact Checklist (RCC)

Research partnerships produce and disseminate research-related material. In response to this material, people may contact partnerships. The RCC was created to collect information about the number and the nature of the requests that partnerships are receiving.

Research Contact Checklist (RCC)

Background Information Form for Research Partnerships (BIFRP)

The BIFRP is designed to collect descriptive background information about a Research Partnership. The BIFRP will provide research partnerships with ideas about the types of information that they may want to track.

Background Information Form for Research Partnerships (BIFRP)

Funders of The Impact Study

"Measuring the external impact of community-university research alliances and partnerships addressing social/health issues," funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada www.sshrc.ca, 2002-2005, G. King, M. Law, C. Forchuk, T. Willoughby, P. Rosenbaum, M. Kertoy, H. Chalmers, J. Specht, and M. Currie.