The use of a dyadic lens to assess and leverage academic and community partners' readiness to conduct community-based participatory research (CBPR) has not been systematically investigated. With a lack of readiness to conduct CBPR, the partnership and its products are vulnerable. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the dimensions and key indicators necessary for academic and community partnership readiness to conduct CBPR. Key informant interviews and focus groups (n = 36 participants) were conducted with academic and community participants who had experiences with CBPR partnerships. A 'framework analysis' approach was used to analyze the data and generate a new model, CBPR Partnership Readiness Model. Antecedents of CBPR partnership readiness are a catalyst and mutual interest. The major dimensions of the CBPR Partnership Readiness Model are (i) goodness of fit, (ii) capacity, and (iii) operations. Preferred outcomes are sustainable partnership and product, mutual growth, policy and social and health impact on the community. CBPR partnership readiness is an iterative and dynamic process, partnership and issue specific, influenced by a range of environmental and contextual factors, amenable to change and essential for sustainability and promotion of health and social change in the community.