Learn about resources to support community engaged research

Meharry-Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core    

Community-engaged research is a framework or approach to research, not a methodology. It involves building authentic partnerships between researchers and community organizations and a commitment to addressing local health issues. It recognizes the strengths of community organizations and individuals and builds on those strengths. A community-engaged research study may incorporate both qualitative and quantitative methods. What characterizes community-engaged research is not the methods used, but the principles that guide research and the relationships between researchers and the community (Lasker & Weiss, 2003; Minkler, 2005).  

The Community Engagement and Research Core (CERC), a focused partnership between Meharry Medical College and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, brings academic and community partners together to improve community health and healthcare through research. CERC shapes and supports innovative and translational community-engaged research by preparing scientists to impact the public’s health; energizing communities to engage in research, and build transformative strategies and structures to support academic-community partnerships.  

Principles of Community Engaged Research* 

  • Facilitates collaborative, equitable partnerships in all phases of the research
  • Integrates and achieves a balance between research and action for the mutual benefit of all partners
  • Recognizes community as a unit of identity
  • Builds on strengths and resources within the community
  • Promotes co-learning and capacity building among all partners
  • Involves a long-term process and commitment
  • Emphasizes local relevance of public health problems and ecological perspectives that recognize and attend to the multiple determinants of health and disease
  • Disseminates findings and knowledge gained to all partners and involves all partners in the dissemination process
  • Involves systems development through a cyclical and iterative process

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