The Investigaytors program is a participatory, community-based, capacity-building intervention for gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer (GBT2Q) men who are interested in health research. By participating in every step of the research process, program participants gain tangible research skills, learn about gay men’s health, and connect with other young GBT2Q guys. Importantly, there is no academic or educational requirement for participating in the program, and participation is not limited to those currently or formerly engaged in post-secondary education.
The primary objective of the Investigaytors program is capacity-building through hands-on research experience, grounded in the principles of community-based research. Program participants learn about quantitative and qualitative research skills, social determinants of health, HIV prevention and sexual health, and the utility of research in addressing health inequities and knowledge gaps.
Practical research experience is built through intimate involvement at all levels of a research project, including developing project proposals, defining research objectives, data collection and recruitment, data analysis, and knowledge translation. In the past, Investigaytors have contributed to the design, data collection, and analysis of the Canada’s largest GBT2Q men’s health survey – Sex Now. In addition to this, the Investigaytors have authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and community reports and have presented their research at national – and even international - conferences.
The Investigaytors was created by the Community-Based Research Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2011. In 2016, the Investigaytors program expanded to Toronto, run in partnership by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the CRUISElab at the University of Toronto. In 2019, the Investigaytors program is expanding to Edmonton and Winnipeg.