1) Stakeholders are critical to the development and conduct of research on a variety of levels. Those stakeholders who are most affected by the research and/or most representative of potential participants play an important role in helping to shape study design and ensure that a study would be acceptable and feasible in a given community. As was stated above, without their trust, support and acceptance, a study will not succeed. Other stakeholders in the broader definition of the term are equally important in making sure there is general support, whether for funding, regulatory approval, ongoing ethical review etc. While the various types of stakeholders have different effects on the research porcess, they are all vitally important
2) Each of the NIH-funded HV/AIDS prevention research networks understand the importance of stakeholder engagement. They all have established mechanisms for engagement – CABS or similar groups are the primary means of community engagement but other forms be they forums or consultations are also used, particularly in preparation for specific research studies. MTN 017 was the perfect example. Of course, it varies to some degree by network, by site, and of course, by study. The Division of AIDS (where I’m located) is very supportive of stakeholder engagement and works with stakeholders in its own way on a regular basis.