Community Based Research

The goal of the Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) within Vanderbilt's Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) program is to develop transformative collaborative structures and strategies that will bring Meharry Medical College (MMC) and Vanderbilt University (VU) translational investigators and research programs together with community partners to shape and support innovative and community-based research. CERP provides the necessary opportunities, and broadly engages community partners throughout the clinical and translational research enterprise. The proposed program will build on existing activities and structures to create an explicit and innovative infrastructure that will engage community partners, including:

  1. Academic institutions;
  2. Health care systems, providers and payers;
  3. Corporate healthcare entities, and;
  4. Community advocates including public health entities, non-profit and faith-based organizations, and grass-roots groups that focus on improving community health.

The proposed program will engage each of these groups of partners to develop meaningful working relationships and stimulate and support collaborative translational research.

Specific Aims are:

  1. To create and sustain an effective infrastructure that brings community and academic partners together to design, implement, evaluate and disseminate health-related research studies that enhance the capacity of all participants to address health priorities among diverse communities.
  2. To engage community and academic partners to increase the quality and quantity of effective, responsive, and culturally- sensitive translational research that result in the implementation of best practices to improve public health.
  3. To develop a set of core services that will support the efforts of researchers in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of research projects that engage communities, including:
    • Community data profiling and needs assessment;
    • Process evaluation of community-based research;
    • Development and maintenance of a web-based community and academic resource registry
    • Community engagement and capacity building consultation;
    • Measurement and outcomes evaluation consultation;
    • Training and education services;
    • Dissemination and utilization services.

For additional information please contact:

Leah Alexander, Ph.D.
Community Engagement and Research Program Director

Supported by the National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54 MD0007593.