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Introducing the Dyspraxia Foundation Research Panel

You may have seen emails and posts from the Dyspraxia Foundation inviting you to take part in research studies. But did you know that there’s a careful process to decide which studies we share with our members?

The Research Panel receives 8-12 requests each year from experienced and undergraduate researchers looking for help from the Dyspraxia Foundation to recruit study participants. This number is increasing year on year which is encouraging.

There is a formal application process, and applications are reviewed by a Research Panel of five members who are all experienced researchers. Two work in academia, three have lived experience of dyspraxia and three work in clinical practice.

To ensure that participation in a study would be a respectful use of members’ time, all applications are reviewed by members of the Panel before the information is shared via Dyspraxia Foundation channels. Panel members consider the following:

  1. Does the study focus on an area likely to be of interest/concern to dyspraxic people?
  2. Is the methodology sound and likely to lead to findings that can be trusted?
  3. Do the researchers have appropriate experience and/or support to carry out the study?
  4. Has ethical approval been given?
  5. Is support available if participants have questions or are upset by taking part?

Feedback is provided to researchers and often additional information is requested. Whilst not all studies are supported, researchers often tell us that our feedback was very helpful.

Panel Members undertake their role on a voluntary basis, and providing quality feedback takes time. Applications are sometimes sent with very short timescales and whilst Panel members try to meet these deadlines, that’s not always possible.

Researchers are welcome to contact the Panel before submitting their applications. This can identify potential issues early and speed up the review process. The advice can also be offered to undergraduate researchers – who are often dyspraxic – as the Panel is keen to build research skills among the dyspraxic community.

We are particularly keen to encourage studies where there is an element of coproduction or consultation to support a move towards research ‘with’ rather than research ‘on’ dyspraxic people. We have recently helped a couple of researchers connect with our community to help develop their research proposal which is a welcome and positive move.

If you would like the Dyspraxia Foundation to support with your research, please send us an email on information@dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk.


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