The community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach across health contexts has matured greatly over the last 20 years. Though contributions to the literature on the development and effectiveness of CBPR interventions have grown, the number of publications on the function and evaluation of actual community-research partnerships has not kept pace. To help address that gap, we searched National Institutes of Health archival data and identified a set of 489 CBPR projects including collaboration-building, exploratory/pilot, research, and program project grants. We found community partner contact information commonly was absent from grant records and contacted principal investigators (PIs) for community-partner contact information. Subsequently, we built upon established measures to ask principal investigators and community partners for their perceptions of participation in NIH-funded CBPR projects. Many principal investigators and community partners reported existing collaborations-between academicians and community organizations as well as among community organizations. Partners tended to agree on the appropriateness of funding levels to accomplish projects and on the community partners' ability to recruit and retain participants, collect data, and implement interventions. Partners differed in perceptions of participation in research design, data analyses, manuscript and presentation production, and dissemination of findings. Suggestions include collection of lead community partner information without undue burden and increased standard education and involvement of community organizations in research vocabulary and practices.
Keywords: Community-based participatory research; NIH portfolio; Partner perspectives; Research perspectives.