The Investigaytors program is a participatory, community-based, capacity-building intervention for Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and those not reflected in the acronym but who identify within the Queer spectrum (2SLGBTQQIA+) people who are interested in health research. By participating in every step of the research process, program participants gain tangible research skills, learn about 2SLGBTQQIA+ health, and connect with other 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. 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, COVID-19 and mental 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 Sex Now, Canada’s largest 2S/GBTQ health survey. Currently, Investigaytors are exploring mental health impacts of COVID-19 using Our Health survey data. Over the years, the Investigaytors have authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and community reports and have presented their research at national and 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. The Investigaytors program continues to evolve as more partners join. Over the last several years partners include:
- CRUISElab (2016) University of Toronto
- QTHC (Queer & Trans Health Collective) (2018) Edmonton
- Village Lab (2019) University of Manitoba
- QOLLAB (2020) University of Montreal
- SHaG (Sexual Health and Gender Research) Lab (2022) Dalhousie University
- HIM (Health Initiative for Men) (2022) Vancouver
- 2Sims (2Spirits in Motion Society) (coming onboard in 2023)