Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) Health Disparities Research Collaborative (HDRC) Statement on Partnership and Collaboration

Collaborative research at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) is defined as research involving coordination and partnership between investigators, institutions, organizations, and/or communities involved in projects of mutual interest. In the spirit of true collaboration, HFHS will operate with defined and clear expectations. 

Patient population and the use of race/ethnicity in research

Our patients are our most valued resource. Patient interactions and review of patient data, including those activities conducted by non-HFHS investigators/collaborators/research staff, should be agreed upon and stipulated in the Institutional Review Board application that is approved by the research team and ultimately the appropriate IRBs.  

HFHS is committed to social justice, health equity, diversity, and inclusion  which will be reflected in all publications. In alignment with this commitment, use of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity in analyses and use of any data elements that require race or gender “norming” will require justification and unanimous approval by HFHS investigators on the research team.

Study Design and Implementation

HFHS researchers expect to have input in the development of the research question, the study design, the type of data that will be collected, the source of the data to be collected, and decisions on what other types of data or evidence is needed. 

Implementation is the carrying out, execution, or practice of a plan, a method, or any design, idea, model, specification, standard or policy for conducting the research. As part of the research team, HFHS researchers will participate in decisions about research staffing needs, including the source of research staffing and the location of headquarters for research staff.  HFHS investigators will provide input on methods of data collection and research/field staff collecting the data. The preference is to use HFHS resources when conducting research at HFHS, except in cases where outside resources are well justified and agreed upon by the research team.

Analysis interpretation, manuscript development, and co-authorship

As part of the research team, HFHS investigators will participate in discussions that assign meaning to the collected information and discussions that determine the conclusions, significance, and implications of the findings. After making a substantive and identifiable contribution to the research, HFHS investigators are expected to have co-/authorship on all publications resulting from the research and to have the opportunity to take the lead on manuscripts resulting from the partnership. HFHS contributions, as well as HFHS investigators, will be noted on all media releases. 


The shared budget will reflect and support the work of HFHS investigators and staff unless other arrangements (e.g., In Kind support) have been made with HFHS Research Administration.  

HFHS recognizes the inherent benefits of research collaboration. Communicating expectations is central to successful partnerships and the alignment of partner goals and objectives.  


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