Collective for Gender+ in Research

The Collective for Gender+ in Research works to promote a community for rich dialogue in which gender and other identity intersections, including race, class, sexuality and ability, are considered when conducting community-engaged research.

The Collective focuses on capacity building and providing the tools researchers need to utilize a gender+ lens.

Who are we?

The Collective for Gender+ in Research is based out of UBC Arts’ ORICE (Office for Regional and International Community Engagement), with leadership from Dr. Helina Jolly (Research Associate at Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Solutions, UBC) and Tamara Baldwin (Director, ORICE). The collective emerged out of conversations and meet-ups within UBC’s Women Deliver 2019 mobilizations, and builds on networks and connections from that initiative. Students from all faculties and disciplines are welcome.

Status of Women Canada refers to Gender Based Analysis Plus as : “GBA+ is an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and non-binary people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and socio-cultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ also considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability.”

María Bustelo describes gender+ as : “The term “gender +” is used to include an intersectionality perspective, that is, a recognition that gender is intersected by other inequalities, such as ethnicity, class, age, disability, and sexual orientation.” (Bustelo, 2016)

We expand on this policy and research analysis tool, drawing on these definitions to ask intersectional,[1] gender-sensitive research process questions such as :

  • Are research questions formulated to be gender+-sensitive?
  • Are methodologies sensitive to gender+ factors?
  • Is data collection sensitive to the gender+ identities of participants?
  • Are gender+ factors considered while analyzing data?
  • How can gender+ factors be considered in the ways data is reported and distributed?

[1] We acknowledge, in particular, the contributions of Black Feminists such as Kimberlé Crenshaw and Patricia Hill Collins towards a theory of intersectionality as an analytical tool.

What are we asking ourselves?

  • How do we facilitate a research culture in which gender and other intersections (+) are part of the research process from its beginning?
  • What are the tools necessary to facilitate the integration of gender+ into our research questions and throughout the research process?
  • What are some of the barriers for graduate students and research faculty in seeking to undertake research with gender+ considerations in mind?

Our Collective’s Guiding Principles

  1. Fostering dialogue towards a culture that (re)frames research questions through gender+
  2. Creating an environment and network to support researchers in our community to bring gender+ into their research from the beginning research question-generation stages, “gendering” research throughout; gender mainstreaming
  3. Developing a framework and resources to support gender+ lensing
  4. Promoting the integration of intersectionality as an analytical framework into gender research, highlighting how gender is entangled with race, class, Indigeneity, ability, nationality and other relations.

Gender+ Research Engagementships

Through what we call “engagementships,” our collective seeks to interrogate the motivations for research, and focus on community engagement as a research tool. Each engagementship is separated into cohorts where they will be asked to investigate data justice and community-based research principles and practices.

Gender fragments but also creates community, and is performed, resisted and reproduced in social relations. Research in community always encounters gender. Our collective seeks to develop a network that works to articulate methods and tools to consider these gendered dynamics inherent to working and researching in community. These considerations bring together theoretical and practical considerations towards gathering knowledge that promotes gender justice.

Citizen Science and Community-Based Research Engagementship

The calls to action around intersectional, community-based data collection seek to serve various communities, to ensure services and funding reach them, that their voices and opinions are meaningfully involved in research and data collection, that barriers to necessary services are addressed and lowered, and to understand and mitigate inequities exacerbated by a research paradigm not always suited to community concerns and needs. With this in mind, how might the principles of data justice within citizen science operate in this space? How might community organizations centre data justice in their citizen science projects? 

It is to explore the many follow-up questions flowing from those above that the Collective for Gender+ in Research launched a research Engagementship in which multiple cohorts will begin and build on each others’ work addressing these questions, learning about data justice and citizen science, and how community organizations might engage with these concepts.

Cohort #1: In July 2020, the Collective launched a research engagementship opportunity to bring together a team of students who will investigate the ways in which citizen science can be used by and for communities to collect data for their own benefit. This engagementship will result in a presentation, research brief, and a resource guide for community organizations to utilize as they consider employing citizen science in their work.

Cohort #2: In September 2020, the Collective proceeded with recruiting for the second cohort of our research engagementship opportunity focused on data justice, citizen science and community-based research.

Cohort #3: In January 2021, the engagementship cohort began their work advancing a community guide for organizations to utilize in embedding principles of data justice in community-engaged research.

Cohort #4: In May 2021, students in this cohort pushed this community guide forward into a tangible, well-designed guide, developed using relevant knowledge translation and user-centered design frameworks.

Cohort #5: In September 2021, this cohort took one final view at the guide to tie up loose ends, and to ensure the language and format of the guide was accessible and comprehensible. The final guide was edited and published.

Cohort #6: In January 2022, this cohort took on the job of sharing the guide and reaching back out to our partners and collaborators over the past couple of years as well as looking for new avenues and opportunities for the guide to be shared and circulated. The first version of the guide was completed as the final cohort came to a wrap (view below)!

Community-Based Research & Data Justice Resource Guide

This guide introduces and develops the concept of ‘data justice’ for community organizations that already work with data or are looking to work on data-based projects. In addition, this guide explores dismantling power structures and privilege through definitions, examples, reflexivity, and critical thinking. It has been developed by numerous cohorts of students in collaboration with community partners and researchers; however, this guide should not be considered complete nor comprehensive. It is a starting point for conversations and we encourage readers to make the necessary space to engage in discussions about outstanding questions arising from this guide with other community organizers.

It’s Not Gender as Usual: Guiding Questions for Transformative
Intersectional Gender+ Research


Written in collaboration and community with the Collective for Gender+ in Research by Hannah Sullivan Facknitz, Ieda Matavelli, Isha Mathur, Elaina Nguyen, and Claire Okatch

This question guide is the work of five graduate researchers at UBC who, through ORICE’s Collective for Gender+ in Research, created it to help researchers navigate incorporating a gender+ lens into their scholarly work. It is structured as a question guide for researchers interested in producing better, more meaningful research that aims to do good in the world. It is organized by different stages of the research process, from selecting a research topic to deciding how to best share the results of research.

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