PCER Community-Engaged Research Process

Community-Engaged Research (CEnR) 

Community-engaged research has emerged within medicine and public health as an approach to research designed to understand and increase health equity, reduce health disparities, and improve community and population health.

Community engagement often is viewed as a continuum that spans from outreach (less engaged), consultation, involvement, and collaboration, to shared leadership (more engaged). As such, the community engagement literature is extensive and features a wide range of theories, approaches, strategies, and methods, reflecting tremendous diversity in how community engagement is defined, implemented, and evaluated. Despite this heterogeneity, CEnR includes several common critical elements such as:

  • Collaboration with groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, health condition, or other categories of shared identity; 

  • Groups of community members, organizational representatives, and academic researchers adhering to common principles and norms to nurture trust and promote authentic partnership; 

  • Focus on identifying and addressing the needs and priorities and harnessing the assets that affect health and well-being; and 

  • Research as an approach to systematically uncover and understand health-related phenomena and improve community and population health