AER18 Blog Squad Intro Post: Myra Luna-Lucero

As I was pursuing my doctorate, I worked as the compliance administrator for the IRB office. My dual-role afforded me an insider’s view into the challenges student researchers face when accessing IRB related information. As the newly hired full-time research compliance manager, I continue to support students new to research. I am attending the 2018 Advancing Ethical Research Conference (AER18) to learn how other compliance administrators support new researchers and build trust between researchers and diverse communities. I am particularly interested in how other compliance administrators support intercultural communication.

I believe intercultural competence and sensitivity when engaging and communicating with diverse groups of people is important and I am interested in knowing how others take on the challenges of research compliance, working with vulnerable populations, and understanding population diversity.

  • Intercultural competence means to think and act in culturally appropriate ways. For example, a researcher might want to understand how communication processes differ among their target population and identify challenges that may arise from cultural differences. The researcher could learn ways to creatively address these challenges and develop skills, behaviors, and approaches for communicating with different cultures. What strategies can compliance administrators offer to help guide researchers so they are intercultural competent?
  • Intercultural sensitivity means to remain attuned to relevant cultural differences. For example, a researcher should know their target population and understand what forms of communication is and is not permitted given certain circumstances. Sensitivity also means that in instances when the researcher speaks or behaves inappropriately, they listen and look for cues to respond differently or attempt to improve upon the communication for future interactions. How can compliance administrators support researchers’ efforts towards intercultural sensitivity?

Intercultural communication-based approaches help build a bridge between the researcher and study participant. As compliance administrators, how can we develop guides or supportive materials to encourage researchers to diligently pursue cultural competence and remain sensitive to diverse populations?

Myra Luna-Lucero, EdD, is a Research Compliance Manager at the Teacher’s College of Columbia University. As a researcher and teacher, people are her highest priority and she instinctively communicates personal concern with others. She is an adept communicator who thrives on face-to-face interactions with a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff. She brings these qualities to her work to empower others to make informed decisions and reach their goals. She encourages researchers to ponder the roles they might play in the alleviation of the troubling inequities that continue to shape our world. She guides researchers on how to treat everyone as autonomous decision-makers who possess unique opinions. I present campus workshops on the importance of ethics, confidentiality, and protecting vulnerable populations. She meets individually with researchers to strategize ways to protect human subjects and do good work in the world.

Members of PRIM&R’s Blog Squad and other guest contributors are valued members of our community willing to share their insights. The views expressed in their posts do not necessarily reflect those of PRIM&R or its employees.

PRIM&R’s 2018 Advancing Ethical Research Conference takes place November 14-17 in San Diego, CA. Explore the agenda and register on our website.