Research Information Outreach Team (RIOT)
Terms of Reference
In 2010 staff of the Eglin Middlesex Unit of the Canadian Cancer Society determined a need to get the word out to the community about the progress and promise of cancer research. This was deemed necessary for several reasons – scientific advances such as the mapping of the human genome combined with advances in communication , technology and collaboration makes this a time of unparallel advancement in human science; volunteers and donors of the Canadian Cancer Society will see the return on investment they have made in their support of funding cancer research; anyone who is, or has been, touched by cancer will be buoyed by the potential that is within all our grasps for better prevention, early detection and effective, less intrusive treatment of cancer . The Unit Manager asked for assistance and participation from the research community in London, Ontario and received an overwhelming response. Research trainees gathered with CCS staff and key volunteers to form RIOT and worked collaboratively to create a plan to spread the word.
The overall goal of RIOT is to bring awareness to the community about the progress and promise of cancer research.
- Maintain a clear message about the incredible progress and promise of cancer research today
- Convey this message in a variety of ways through a variety of outlets to identified target audiences
- Open avenues for feedback, comments and inquiries regarding all aspects of RIOT
- Current volunteers, donors and community partners of the CCS
- Potential volunteers, donors and community partners of the CCS
- Those impacted by cancer
- The general public
We began rolling out our initiatives to friendly audiences such as CCS staff and volunteers and those interested in science to gauge reception and comprehension of the materials. We then began to widen the scope of the audience to those less familiar with cancer and science.
- Amazing advances have been made in the last 5 years and even more advances will be made in the next 5 years
- Research leads to better prevention, diagnosis and treatment
- These presentations can lead to a better understanding of cancer, basic science and research
- Supporting cancer research is important and worthwhile
- Researchers are appreciative of the efforts of volunteers and donors who support their work
Key Strategies and Tactics
RIOT employs a variety of methods to spread the word about the progress and promise of cancer research. These include a variety of venues – print media of articles, in person presentations such as the Bench to Bedside presentations or individual speaking engagements; and videos; social media, collaboration with community partners such as Tech Alliance and Let’s Talk Science. The objective is to maintain an ongoing, multi-platform campaign that is constantly seeking new and diverse platforms to reach as many people as possible. Future options include the use of social media, casual interactive environments and large scale events.
RIOT was formed in a collaborative environment. All members are encouraged to contribute creative ideas and capitalize on existing connections in the continuing growth of RIOT. RIOT is a self-sustaining team and requires all members take on a distinctive role and responsibilities to assure the work of the team gets done.
While RIOT operates under the auspices, and identity, of the Canadian Cancer Society membership on RIOT is not limited to researchers funded by the CCS. RIOT also sites research funded by other funders within RIOT initiatives to reflect the collaborative nature of scientific advancement and community development.
RIOT meets the third Wednesday of every month at the CCS Elgin-Middlesex Unit on St George St in London at 6:30 p.m. Task groups meet on an as needed basis.
Expressions of Interest
To inquire about joining RIOT contact the Volunteer Engagement Specialist at the E-M Unit of the CCS. To inquire about a product or service of RIOT contact the Unit manager of the E-M Unit of the CCS.