These guidelines outline the process for the Board of Directors to assess the viability of requests for research studies to be conducted with PWN members. The Executive Director, in consultation with staff, will pre-screen requests, eliminating those that appear inappropriate. She will then forward screened requests to the board for discussion and possible approval.

Background Questions

  • What is the name of the study?
  • What is the time frame for the study?
  • What other sites, groups, or organizations have been approached for this research?
  • What are the credentials of the research team?

Focus on Positive Women

  • What does the research expect to accomplish, and how will this directly benefit HIV-positive women?
  • What proportion of participants are represented by women?
  • How does the study represent the diversity of women living with HIV?

Confidentially, Support, and Communications

  • What is the project’s commitment to confidentiality?
  • What is the recruitment process?
  • What are the expectations for PWN staff involvement in the project?
  • What do the research tools (interview guide, focus group guide, surveys, etc.) look like?
  • Has the study been accepted by an ethics review committee?
  • If there are personal questions being asked of PWN members, what is the rationale and is it justified?
  • What participation and time commitment is expected of women who take part in the study?
  • What plan is in place for counseling/debriefing for participants once the interviews, focus groups, surveys, etc. have been completed?
  • What is the plan for communicating the results of the study to the participants?


  • What honoraria amount is offered to participants?
  • What is the amount of the child care subsidy offered to participants?
  • What travel expenses will be provided (bus tickets, parking, mileage, etc.)?
  • Is there an administrative fee or honorarium available for PWN?
  • Is there any other relevant information about this study?