What is CBRET?
CBRET is a reflective assessment tool for those involved in community-based research. It aims to assess the quality and impact of community-based research proposals and projects. It intends to challenge us to improve how research is done with communities.

CBRET is a tool that uses both quantitative and qualitative techniques. It has three main categories: 1) research process; 2) research rigour; and 3) research impact and can be used either individually or collectively. CBRET was designed for 1) planning a community-based research project; 2) shaping existing projects; and 3) evaluating proposals or past projects. 

Preview CBRET
Take a sneak peak inside the first seven pages of the CBRET tool below…


Sample CBRET Workshop Slides 




Who Would Benefit?

individual researchers research trainees/students
research teams research funders
peer reviewers research steering committees

CBRET Services
Are you interested in bringing CBRET to your institution or group? Our team offers tailored webinars, customized workshops and evaluations of research processes and outcomes using the CBRET framework. View our CBRET Access Guide for more information.


“I will use the CBRET in every community engaged learning course and every community engaged research project from now on! Specifically, I will use it as a way to encourage discussions with all partners at the entering phase of projects; as a training tool with undergraduate and graduate students to help operationalize and critically reflect on some of the indicators that fit with the principles and practices of community engaged scholarship; throughout and at the end of a community engaged project to reflect on the extent to which I and our partners are living up to our partnership goals; and finally, I will use it as a resource to help inform tenure and promotion committees about what it looks like to do community engaged scholarship. In other words, I see great benefit in this for every aspect of the work I do as a community engaged scholar! Thank you CCRB!” – Mavis Morton, Associate Professor, University of Guelph 

“The CBRET tool is very useful for anyone, such as myself, who does not have a strong background in community-based, mixed-methods research. The structured process helps to shape the processes and questions that should be addressed in order to formulate meaningful research outcomes. I found the discussion along with tool very helpful in developing my understanding of community based research.” – Sandeep Raha, Associate Professor, McMaster University Medical Centre

“This tool helps to balance the power among people and describes how to work well with all. This is not a math formula, it is really a new mindset for designing and conducting community-based research” – Helen Song, PhD Candidate, Wilfrid Laurier University

“As researchers we have to admit the power in your hands when we design and carry put the community-based projects. This CBRET is a perfect tool for us to check our minds to balance the power with participants. It reminds us that as researchers there is much work for us to do even before we start designing the community-based research project because community members don’t necessarily know our language and we need to work out which language works for them. We need a process to learn from the community members and CBRET provides an excellent channel to do this.” – Sharon Wan, University of Sheffield

“The workshop exceeded my expectations. I was anticipating some theoretical expose about CBR but boy! I had the pleasure to meet both academics and practitioners from government and non government circles, all engaged and interested in CBR in their respective capacities. Further, the tool presented is thoroughly designed and hands-on. I feel like I can immediately hit the ground running with it and I actually will. I intend to use it to craft my research proposal and my first steps in my partner community this summer. Awesome!” – Carelle Mang-Benza, Graduate student at the University of Western Ontario

Meet the Trainers

Rich Janzen

Rich Janzen is co-executive director of the Centre for Community Based Research and adjunct faculty at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo. Rich sees research as a tool for social innovation and change – to find new ways of bringing people who are on the edge of society to live within community as full and equal members. He has been involved in 130-plus community based research projects on range of social and health issues. This breadth of work has included multi-partner research initiatives, community mobilization, program/systems change evaluation, and needs assessment with direct policy impact.


Joanna Ochocka

Joanna Ochocka is co-executive director of the Centre for Community Based Research and adjunct faculty at Social Development Studies, University of Waterloo. Joanna sees research as a catalyst for social innovation, for public policy improvements, and for promoting knowledge democracy, in which local knowledge is valued in building local solutions. Driven by her passion and dedication, she promotes community-based research locally and internationally. Joanna has been involved in over 200 community based research projects on social and health issues and led a National Summit on pursuing excellence in collaborative community campus research. She is a founding member of Community Based Research Canada (CBRC) and the Community Research Ethics Office (CREO).