My name is Dr. Jennifer Carlson, and I am a sociologist from the University of Arizona. I am writing to invite you to participate in a study funded by the National Science Foundation on survivors of gun violence. Thank you for considering to participate.
This project, “The Impact and Aftermath of Surviving Gun Violence,” examines the experiences of people who survive gun violence. For this study, gun violence survivors include those—close family and friends—who have had a loved one taken by gun violence. Every year, gun violence exacts a significant cost on the lives of people in the US, but relatively little scholarship has examined the experiences of people who survive gun violence, and the consequences for their social and political lives. But gun violence leaves hundreds of thousands of survivors every year who must navigate its aftermath. This study aims to address these gaps.
Your participation would involve about an hour of your time. If you agree, you will be asked to participate in a phone or Internet interview at a time of your choice followed by a short demographic survey. The interview will focus on your experiences with gun violence; the support that was available (or not) to you after surviving gun violence; changes and transformations you experienced as a result of surviving gun violence; and political activities (if any) related to the issue of guns and gun violence. As compensation for your time, you will a $50 gift card.
All information you provide will be confidential, and in order to secure anonymity, no identifiable personal attributes will be associated with the interview unless you explicitly choose to have your story identifiable. You are free to refuse to answer any question, to stop the interview at any time, and to withdraw from the study.
Other than the opportunity to speak about your experiences, which some study participants may experience as beneficial, there are no direct benefits to you as a study participant. However, study participants will benefit society more broadly by providing insight into the aftermath of gun violence survivorship, especially how the widespread experience of surviving gun violence impacts the politics of guns. In addition, study results may be useful in identifying feasible interventions to formulate policies that address understudied obstacles and barriers faced by gun violence survivors. An Institutional Review Board responsible for human subjects research at The University of Arizona reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and University policies designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.
I am available at your convenience at 312 391 1433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please let me know if you have any questions, and I hope you will participate.
For more details on the study, see the documents below for study guidelines, consent guidelines, interview questions, and resources for survivors.