Training Community Members in Public Health Research: Development and Implementation of a Community Participatory Research Pilot Project

Goldie Komaie, Melody Goodman, Angela McCall, Gloria McGill, Chavelle Patterson, Cassandra Hayes, Vetta Sanders Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Community-based training in public health research can build capacity for community-based participatory research (CBPR) and foster health partnerships between academics and stakeholders. We describe a community-academic partnership developed from a 15-week program, the Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT), designed to increase research literacy and facilitate equitable relationships in community/researcher collaborations and partnerships. The article provides a description of a community and faculty collaboration to conduct a participatory pilot research project that followed program completion. Methods: Four CRFT program alumni formed a community research team and selected a faculty mentor. After a request for proposal release, the team developed a pilot research proposal that addressed a concern for mental health among women experiencing economic stress. After completion of the pilot research, the community researchers elected to participate in two dissemination efforts, including a manuscript reflecting on their research experience. Team successes, challenges, and recommendations for future training are discussed. Results: Each member of the CRFT pilot research team reflects on how training prepared community members to conduct CBPR research through development and implementation of a pilot research project. Community researchers gained experience in grant proposal development, choosing appropriate health interventions, conducting in-person surveys and telephone interviews, and disseminating study findings. Conclusions: Providing training in public health research before community/researcher collaboration can increase community capacity to engage in research as equitable partners in research question development, study design, and data interpretation and dissemination. The project success suggests that this and similar programs maximize the potential of community-academic health partnerships to address health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-287
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • community-based participatory research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management


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