Are you a researcher that engages communities? Are you a community member on a research team? Are you a student or research trainee learning to conduct community-based research? Are you a grant reviewer of collaborative/partnership research?

If YES – You should learn about the Community Based Research Excellence Tool (CBRET).

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. 

CBRET was collaboratively developed and tested over the past four years beginning with the SSHRC-funded National Summit on community-based research indicators of excellence (described in this journal article). It is now ready to be shared with others! The CBRET workshop series, organized by the Centre for Community Based Research, will be rolled out nationally this 2018.

Watch this video to learn more.

Waterloo CBRET Launch and Workshop

Our first workshop is happening May 28, 2018 in Waterloo, ON at Conrad Grebel University College (140 Westmount Rd N, Waterloo, ON) between 10am to 3pm. Please book/register above.

During the workshop you will:

  • Gain access to CBRET
  • Build greater awareness about conducting collaborative research with impact
  • Become better equipped to reach the next level of quality in community-based research
  • Strengthen ties and networks across community-based researchers in your community

The workshop will include:

  • An overview of how CBRET was collaboratively developed
  • Reflection on the tool’s theoretical underpinnings
  • A presentation of the tool and how it can be implemented
  • Discussions of how the tool could be used within local case examples


“I have seen your draft Indicators of Excellent tool for CBR. I think its excellent, and I am wanting to use it as soon as I can. My students, and my colleagues, are in need of this!” – Dr David Peacock, Executive Director of Community Service-Learning, University of Alberta

“I attended your talk on May 3rd . Your presentation (and that of your colleagues) was the most solid and well-structured of all the talks I attended during the whole conference. I thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us. I would very much appreciate receiving the information, especially about the CBR indicators, to keep reflecting on what I have learned at the conference and to pass on these concepts to my students who work on community-engaged projects on food security.” – Marie-Claude Fortin Ph D., Lecturer, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia


Rich Janzen

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. 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 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 as a tool for equity and justice within societies. Joanna 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).



S. Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor is executive director of the Canadian Research Data Centre Network as well as professor emeritus at the University of Victoria. He is also an adjunct professor with both the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo and the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University.