STUDY TITLE: Richmond LGBTQIA+ Community Needs Assessment: Community Survey

VCU INVESTIGATOR: Eli Coston, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies

SPONSOR: Richmond Memorial Health Foundation and the Laughing Gull Foundation


You are being invited to participate in a research study. It is important that you carefully think about whether being in this study is right for you and your situation.

This consent form is meant to assist you in thinking about whether or not you want to be in this study. Please ask the investigator or the study staff to explain any information in this consent document that is not clear to you. You may take home an unsigned copy of this consent form to think about or discuss with family or friends before making your decision.

Your participation is voluntary. You may decide not to participate in this study. If you do participate, you may withdraw from the study at any time. Your decision not to take part or to withdraw will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which you are otherwise entitled.


Why is this study being done?

You are invited to participate in a research project collecting information about the experiences of members of the LGBTQIA+ community living in or around Richmond and the perception of the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. The study is being conducted to inform the development, seeking and targeting of financial and other supports for services, programs and resources to support the LGBTQIA+ community. Your participation is voluntary. You may decide not to participate in this study. If you do participate, you may withdraw from the study at any time.

What will happen if I participate?

If you decide to be part of this study, you will be asked to do the following things:

Complete an online survey and respond to a series of questions about the experiences, needs, and services available for the LGBTQIA+ community in the Richmond area. We will not ask for your name or contact information. We anticipate that the survey will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes to complete.

What are the risks and benefits of participating?

Risks and Discomforts

Benefits to You and Others

· Sometimes responding about some of the issues raised makes people upset. You do not have to respond to any questions about anything you do not want to.

· Participation in research might involve some loss of privacy. There is a small risk that someone outside the research study could see and misuse information about you.

· We do not know if being in this study will help you. But the researchers might find out something that will help members of the LGBTQIA+ community.


You can stop being in this research study at any time. Leaving the study will not affect your medical care, employment status, or academic standing at VCU or VCU Health. Simply stop responding online and do not complete the survey.


VCU and the VCU Health System have established secure research databases and computer systems to store information and to help with monitoring and oversight of research. Your information may be kept in these databases but are only accessible to individuals working on this study or authorized individuals who have access for specific research related tasks.

Information in these databases are not released outside VCU unless stated in this consent or required by law. Although results of this research may be presented at meetings or in publications, there is no collection of identifiable personal information in this project and individual responses will not be disclosed.

Personal information about you might be shared with or copied by authorized representatives from the following organizations for the purposes of managing, monitoring and overseeing this study:

  • The study Sponsor, representatives of the sponsor and other collaborating organizations
  • Representatives of VCU and the VCU Health System
  • Officials of the Department of Health and Human Services

Project findings and reports prepared for dissemination will not contain information that can reasonably be expected to be identifiable.

The researchers cannot prevent you or others, for example a member of your family, from sharing information about you or your involvement in this research.

In general, we will not give you any individual results from the study. Once the study has been completed, summary results will be made publicly available through the sponsor, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.


The investigator and study staff named below are the best person(s) to contact if you have any questions, complaints, or concerns about your participation in this research:

Eli Coston, (804) 828-6710,


Kevin W. Allison, (804) 827-0027,

If you have general questions about your rights as a participant in this or any other research, or if you wish to discuss problems, concerns or questions, to obtain information, or to offer input about research, you may contact:

Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Research

800 East Leigh Street, Suite 3000, Box 980568, Richmond, VA 23298

(804) 827-2157;

Do not agree to participate in this study unless you have had a chance to ask questions and have received satisfactory answers to all of your questions.


I have been provided with an opportunity to read this consent form carefully. All of the questions that I wish to raise concerning this study have been answered. By agreeing to participate without providing my signature on this consent form I have not waived any of the legal rights or benefits to which I otherwise would be entitled. My participation indicates that I freely consent to participate in this research study. I can download a copy of the consent form for my records.

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