Community Engaged Research

STSI Community Engagement Program (STSI-CEP) supports community engaged research (CEnR) that aims to bring researchers and community partners together to share their knowledge, skills and resources with a common goal of improving community health.

Definition of Community Engaged Research (CEnR)

Over the last two decades, health research and practice have increasingly employed CEnR, defined as “ the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interests, or similar situations to address issues affecting the wellbeing of those people”. [1] The primary goals of CEnR are to build trust, enlist new resources and allies, create better communication, and improve overall health outcomes as successful projects evolve into lasting collaborations. [1], [2]

In CEnR, community members and researchers work together as a team to conduct studies that matter most to the community.

Engagement Process

The community engagement process is never ending. It is best practice to elicit feedback from the community throughout all phases of the research design process. For example, if obesity issues were prevalent in your community and you were interested in studying this issue, you would begin by eliciting feedback from the community. This feedback would then be synthesized and disseminated through various venues and incorporated into all phases of the research design process.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions. Principles of community engagement. (1st edition). Atlanta (GA): CDC/ATSDR Committee on Community Engagement; 1997.
2. Wallerstein N. Empowerment to reduce health disparities. Scandanizain Journal of Public Health Supplement 2002; 59:72-77.

Involving the community and collaborating with its members are integral components of the translational research process. Our goal is to build trust, create better communication, enhance the involvement of community in research and improve overall health outcomes.

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD

Director, Community Engagement