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Community and Collaboration Core

Community Engagement is the process of working together with groups of people who are connected in some way– they may live close together or share a similar situation that affects their wellbeing (CDC 1997). Community-Engaged Research (CEnR) is an approach to developing and conducting research that incorporates community engagement.

Community EngagementAs part of the mission of The Rockefeller University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (RU-CCTS), the Community and Collaboration Core team builds partnerships between researchers and community members and fosters community-engaged research to improve individual and community health. An early and sustained strategic partnership with Clinical Directors Network (CDN), a practice-based research network (PBRN) and AHRQ-designated Center of Excellence for practice-based research and learning, has been integral to our success developing and conducting community-engaged research.

To engage with communities, we:

  • Welcome patients, clinicians, community partners, and other stakeholders to work with us throughout the entire research process.
  • Together, we share information about community and research needs and priorities, and how to align goals and share resources and responsibilities.
  • We work together to build skills and tools and work as partners on research that can improve health.

We aim to involve the community at every stage of the research process so investigators and community members can learn from each other. This approach allows us to focus on health issues that are important to the community. This also lets us get the results of research studies back to people as quickly as possible and have the greatest positive impact on people’s health.

We build partnerships among basic and clinical researchers with community health clinicians to develop research questions that address urgent health care needs of their patient populations. Our work spans the entire spectrum of translational science – from basic research in the laboratory, to testing and applying interventions in practice, to changing policy to impact public health. We call this Full Spectrum Translational Research.

The RU-CCTS is supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NIH/NCATS) UL1TR001866. We engage communities with the following Specific Aims:

Work with patients and communities, marginalized and hard-to-reach populations throughout the research process. Ensure our research is deeply informed by community priorities, is conducted with participant preferences in mind, and is designed to make meaningful impact.
Grow and strengthen our ability to conduct community-engaged research at RU that we have developed with the Clinical Directors Network (CDN). CDN provides peer-initiated activities for clinicians practicing in low-income, minority and other underserved communities.
Train our scientists, community clinicians, patients and partners in the principles and practice of effective community-engaged research with embedded mechanistic studies.
Build knowledge on how to successfully conduct community-engaged research. Disseminate our findings to a wide range of stakeholders.

Learn more about Full Spectrum Translational Research and community-engaged research projects at Rockefeller University

Hear what investigators and community partners say about partnering in Full Spectrum Translational and community-engaged research in our Projects page

Access online CME-accredited Research Training


Contact Information

The RU-CCTS Community and Collaboration Core can assist communities, clinicians, academic researchers, and others interested in cultivating community-engaged research partnerships. For more information, contact our team here.