Community-engaged research is a framework or approach to research, not a methodology. It involves building authentic partnerships between researchers and community organizations and recognizes the strengths of community organizations and individuals and builds on those strengths. A community-engaged 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) is a partnership between Meharry Medical College and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center which 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, building the capacity for communities to engage in research and creating transformative strategies and structures to support academic-community partnerships.