A capacity building program to promote CBPR partnerships between academic researchers and community members

Clin Transl Sci. 2011 Dec;4(6):428-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-8062.2011.00362.x. Epub 2011 Nov 22.


Introduction: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) adds community perspectives to research and aids translational research aims. There is a need for increased capacity in CBPR but few models exist for how to support the development of community/university partnerships.

Objective: Evaluate an approach to promote nascent CBPR partnerships.

Methods: Design was a mixed-methods evaluation using interviews, process notes, and open- and close-ended survey questions. We trained 10 community scholars, matched them with prepared researchers to form seven partnerships, and supported their developing partnerships. Sequential mixed-methods analysis assessed research and partnership processes and identified integrated themes.

Results: Four of seven partnerships were funded within 15 months; all self-reported their partnerships as successful. Themes were: (1) motivators contributed to partnership development and resiliency; (2) partners took on responsibilities that used individuals' strengths; (3) partners grappled with communication, decision making, and power dynamics; and (4) community-university infrastructure was essential to partnership development.

Conclusions: This program for developing nascent partnerships between academicians and community members may guide others in increasing capacity for CBPR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Capacity Building
  • Communication
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration
  • Community-Based Participatory Research / methods*
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Decision Making
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Research Design
  • Universities