What is Community-Engaged Research?

Community engaged research is when people who live in a community, or work in clinics, programs, or agencies PARTNER with researchers from universities to create ways to learn what works to improve the health of a community. Other names for it include:

  • Community – Based Participatory Research
  • Community – collaborative research
  • Community – partnered research
  • Participatory Action Research


In this approach to research, there is equality among all partners. As each individual involved brings different types of information, skills, or perspectives to the table, together they can develop ways to study programs and measure results to see what works in improving health in a community. The words below describe some of the tasks and roles that university researchers, community members, and staff from community agencies can take:

Collecting information consistently
Asking questions
Making decisions together
Bringing ideas
Listening to the ideas of others
Problem solving
Analyzing information
Creating together
Making sense of the information
Talking with people

Community engaged research allows the time needed to:

  • establish equal partnerships,
  • determine roles,
  • fully define the health problem of concern,
  • gather information in systematic ways,
  • analyze information, and
  • take action.

There is more and more evidence that this approach to research can help link research with public health practice, and add to the ways in which we improve the health of people in our communities.

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  • Pilot grant programs eligibility
  • Research core services
    at competitive rates
  • Electronic resources access at Amherst libraries
  • Medical School Library access
  • Consultation services
  • Notification of special events and opportunities

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