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Community life -- Research, Community-Based Participatory Research, Consumer Participation -- methods


Participatory models of research, in which communities are actively engaged in the research process through partnerships with academic institutions, are restructuring how scientific knowledge is being created. Community engaged research, also known as, community based participatory research (CBPR), and participatory action research (PAR) is increasingly recognized as a framework for high quality scientific inquiry. In community engaged research, researchers and evaluators work side‐by‐side with community members in all phases of the research process, from defining social problems and research questions, conceptualizing research design, carrying out research, and interpreting and disseminating findings. It requires partnership development, collaboration and cooperation, and commitment to improving community life by equitably working together to build knowledge, improve practices and achieve social change.

Community engaged research has gained in popularity, in part because traditional research approaches have faced substantial challenges in translating basic science into real‐world practice. Researchers and community leaders have increasingly recognized the need to work together to successfully address complex social issues such as homelessness and health disparities. The added benefits of community engaged research include increased community involvement, increased mutual trust and respect in the research process, increased reliability and validity of research results, and collaboration in implementing effective solutions. In the context of "re‐engineering the clinical research enterprise," growing consensus regarding the value of community engaged research is reflected in the National Institutes of Health, Roadmap for Medical Research. In the roadmap, the National Institute of Health (NIH) called for creating a new research culture that brings together communities and researchers from different disciplines and backgrounds. In line with this commitment, the NIH, National Science Foundation (NSF), W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and numerous other federal and nonfederal entities are investing in community‐researcher grant partnerships, interdisciplinary transformative and translational research initiatives, and development of a new cadre of researchers from diverse communities.

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