Advocacy for Cancer Researchers

Knight Scientific Research Advocates are available to work with Knight Cancer Institute faculty, staff, and students on research grant applications, developing lay abstracts, clinical trial design, and dissemination of research findings. 

To be matched with an advocate, send a short description of your project to Please allow at least one week's notice to be matched with an advocate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I work with a research advocate?

Funders like Susan G. Komen and the Department of Defense are increasingly requiring advocate or "consumer" involvement in the design and dissemination of research. In addition to fulfilling requirements from funders, advocates can bring fresh perspectives to challenging problems, can help you communicate to lay audiences, and most importantly, serve as a reminder for the of the long-term impact of your research findings.

How are advocates qualified to help?

Advocates bring a variety of skills and life experiences to their roles. Even outside of the Knight Scientific Research Advocates program, they have reviewed grant proposals, participated in OHSU Knight Cancer Institute clinical trials, and have acted as advocates for other cancer-related groups. In addition, many advocates have prior education and experience working with medical organizations that complement the training and skills they received at OHSU.

Are the Knight Scientific Research Advocates trained and vetted?

Yes. All advocates have an OHSU volunteer badge from Research and Academic Volunteer Services This badge signifies that they have passed a background check, signed confidentiality forms and completed Big Brain trainings. The advocates also completed a six-month training program, during which they attended seminars lead by OHSU faculty and staff.

How can I help get the most out of my experience with an advocate?

Engaging advocates as early as possible in the project planning process benefits both advocates and researchers. Begin with an introductory meeting to get to know one another and review the scope of the project. Researchers should explain their projects to the advocates, actively solicit input, and work to build a rapport throughout the process. Don't be afraid to get into the details of your science! Just remember: Advocates are volunteers, not paid staff, so they may be unable to respond to requests as quickly as your research colleagues. If you're using a research advocate for the first time, the Scientific Research Advocates program manager is available to meet with you to strategize how to best engage with an advocate on your project. Email to set up an appointment. 

Do you have boilerplate language about the Scientific Advocates Program I can use in my grant application?

Yes. Email to obtain boilerplate language for your proposal.

Contact the Knight Scientific Research Advocates