Your site can include a special home page for researchers with graphical views of downloadable data. Researchers will be able to (optionally) access user forums and may be authorized to monitor forum content where they can bring trained scientific insight and oversight to the user dialog in forums. They can also create blogs to address current topics of interest to the community.
You may also want to collect data from them through specialized researcher specific surveys and feedback forms. As you create these, the surveys would appear on the researchers’ specific dashboard. Data collected can be made available to view by only your staff, or to the researcher portion of the community, or to the entire community at large.