community-engaged research; partnership; disparities; equity; process


Community-Based Research | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion


Various methods, approaches, and strategies designed to understand and reduce health disparities, increase health equity, and promote community and population health have emerged within public health and medicine. One such approach is community-engaged research. While the literature describing the theory, principles, and rationale underlying community engagement is broad, few models or frameworks exist to guide its implementation. We abstracted, analyzed, and interpreted data from existing project documentation including proposal documents, project-specific logic models, research team and partnership meeting notes, and other materials from 24 funded community-engaged research projects conducted over the past 17 years. We developed a 15-step process designed to guide the community-engaged research process. The process includes steps such as: networking and partnership establishment and expansion; building and maintaining trust; identifying health priorities; conducting background research, prioritizing “what to take on”; building consensus, identifying research goals, and developing research questions; developing a conceptual model; formulating a study design; developing an analysis plan; implementing the study; collecting and analyzing data; reviewing and interpreting results; and disseminating and translating findings broadly through multiple channels. Here, we outline and describe each of these steps.