Principle Investigators from the University of Maryland School of Public Health invited Interactive Knowledge to help them launch the online portion of their project, Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers. We designed and developed an interactive website that would be informative and engaging to visitors. Video, imagery and illustrations help to peak users interest, while two curricula modules provide educational opportunities. A glossary of terms and multi-media resources help round out the website. 

About this project

The Building Trust Between Minorities and Researchers project is a Bioethics Research Infrastructure Initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the federal recognition of the importance of fostering greater participation rates of racial and ethnic minority populations in research.

Although health and medical research has been instrumental in improving the health of Americans, the underrepresentation of minorities in research has limited their ability to benefit equally from scientific advances. One of the main goals set forth by the Building Trust project was to create training and educational programs designed to increase the participation of minorities in public health and biomedical research and to strengthen the capacity of researchers and community members to work effectively with each other. We  developed two curricula to help achieve this goal, one for community members, and one for investigators, research staff, and IRB members.


Project goals

The primary goal of this project was to be the public facing source for the Building Trust initiative and to provide ample sources of information for users to make informed decisions.  The site needed to be informative and engaging.

  • Increase the participation of African Americans, Hispanics and other minority populations in public health and biomedical research, including clinical trials.
  • Strengthen the capacity of investigators, institutional review board members and other research personnel to work effectively with minority communities.
  • Create a sustainable infrastructure of training and educational initiatives that can be evaluated over time to determine their impact on improving minority participation in research.
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    Screenshot of the Building Trust homepage

The IK approach

The content was critical to the success of this project. There were two important messages this site needed to convey: What are health disparities? And why is it important to participate in research? We partnered with the UMD team to develop engaging animated videos to help explain the sometimes complex issues. Ethnic diversity imagery help to visually tell the story of health disparities throughout the site. Bright colored illustrations, tabbed content, animations and icons, paired with short copy sections, help to make the content easily consumable.

A large portion of the content is tailored for researchers who: 

  • want to empower people from racial and ethnic minority communities to confidently engage with health and medical researchers.
  • want to assist people from racial and ethnic minority communities in understanding the risks and benefits of participation in medical and public health research so that they can make an informed decision about participating in research studies.

Two curriculum modules are included in the site: Becoming a Self-Reflective Researcher: Successfully Engaging Minority Communities Curriculum and Enhancing Minority Engagement in Research Curriculum

The site contains a comprehensive and robust multimedia section of additional resources. Users can filter by media type, subject or keyword to learn even more about the subject of health disparities.