This guide is for communities interested in participatory research and engagement with academics as part of participatory projects. It has been written by community members, activists and academics who have been involved in research of this kind. It is intended to provide communities with basic explanations of the background to, and motivations for, participatory research, as well as overviews of the processes of research, the implications that communities should consider when deciding whether or not to participate in projects and the key steps participants can take to minimize risks and maximize benefits. What follows should be regarded only as an introduction to the topic and should be read in combination with more detailed work on specific elements of participatory research outlined in the references list below. While there are many other forms of engagement between communities and academics, such as practice placements, site visits and teaching contributions, this guide deals only with participatory research – a process which can stem from, or provide the basis for, other instances of collaboration. It is freely available online on the website of ‘A Cross-Cultural Working Group on “Good Culture” and Precariousness’ (http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/good-culture/a-guide-for-communities-working-with-academics-on-participatory-research-projects/), a participatory project involving community members from Ashington, Northumberland, and Aboriginal groups around Brisbane, Australia. It was during the development of this broader project that the need for an introductory guide emerged. It is hoped that drawing on those experiences, among others, will help community members and academics to find mutually beneficial means of advancing research capable of improving the lives of those participating in it.