The Community Engagement Program provides opportunities for researchers and/or community members to get feedback about potential research ideas, proposal development, evaluations, and ongoing projects.
Our mission is to foster research that is relevant to our communities. We bring researchers and communities together to build trust and mutual understanding. We provide opportunities for researchers and/or community members to get feedback around potential research ideas and form community-academic partnerships.
Please schedule an initial consultation by submitting a request for services through the CTSC website. We will then schedule a meeting to determine how best to serve your health research interests around academic-community partnership formation, recruitment and retention of underserved populations, and community-engaged research education and training. During a consultation, we can help:
Develop partnerships for research.
Form a partnership with a community-based organization around your healthcare research interest
Approach interested and appropriate communities in the Sacramento area
Form long-term partnerships that reflect community health priorities
Get feedback on your research proposal and explore how it can reflect the interests of community members.
Identify research topics that are relevant to community needs
Identify a sample that is representative of women and underrepresented groups in the relevant cultural/linguistic groups
Identify needs assessment and/or intervention strategies that are culturally and linguistically appropriate
Design an evaluation study from a community-engaged research perspective.
Identify where to look for project impact
Identify community partners to assist in evaluation design, implementation, and evaluation
The Community Review Board (CRB) is a specialized consultation session for health researchers developing community- or patient-centered research proposals. Researchers conducting studies connected to the role of communities and patients through PCORI or other patient-centered outcomes funding sources have found the input of community members useful. Community members serve as experts who provide feedback on various aspects of a proposed or on-going research project, including study design; type of intervention; channels and materials for communication and dissemination; participant recruitment strategies; sharing learning with the community; and/or applying research findings to practice. Visit our Community Review Board information sheet for more information.
Examples of health researchers who have used our Community Review Board service include:
An emergency department physician who was interested in receiving feedback on a PCORI grant application (embed http://www.pcori.org/) to assess patient preferences for intensive care unit treatment compared to care provided in hospital wards. His question to the Community Review Board was, “How can patients be involved in development of patient information and decisions aids?”
An asthma researcher who wanted to test whether a drug usually associated with cholesterol regulation was effective in reducing severe asthma. His question to the Community Review Board was, “How do asthma patients view study recruitment materials and potential barriers to participation in clinical trials?”
Why use a Community Review Board? You will receive:
Immediate feedback on your research proposal through a formal, time-limited panel of community members and experts without the complexity of multiple meetings.
Suggestions on how to make your proposal more patient-engaged and patient-centered.
We can provide ideas on how to:
Identify research topics that are relevant to community needs.
Identify a sample that is representative of women and underrepresented cultural and linguistic groups.
Identify needs assessment and/or intervention strategies that are culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Get direct feedback on project feasibility and appropriateness in regard to cultural nuances and historical issues relevant to the community of interest.
Look for project impact.
Identify community partners to assist in research design, implementation, or evaluation.
The RECAB supports health related communication and partnerships. We are the bridge between the Clinical and Translational Science Center and underserved communities. In order to make sure that UC Davis research is relevant to our communities, we advise and assist health scientists on connecting to and working with communities. The ultimate aims of our guidance are to improve knowledge, skills, and attitudes of both researchers and communities around pressing public health problems.
We envision the RECAB as a force for changing the way community members and researchers exchange health-related information. Our board members play active roles in changing the traditional, “top-down” path of communication around health research and community health needs and make it a more participatory process.
The following are specific responsibilities of RECAB members:
Attend bi-monthly meetings, and participate in working groups.
Participate in RECAB or UCD health-related activities.
Provide “bidirectional outreach” in collaborating around community health needs and research findings.
Serve as ambassadors to and from the larger Sacramento/Central Valley communities around the activities of the CTSC and the RECAB.
Advise on research questions and study designs for community-based research and opportunities for community participation in research.
Advise on current and potential community research interventions and partnerships.
Advise on the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of community communication strategies.
Advise health researchers on the most appropriate and effective ways to work with communities.
We provide an opportunity for members of the community to work with researchers on health issues that are of greatest priority.
What kind of issues might community members want to explore?
We can help you learn how to:
Identify researchers with expertise in a particular disease or healthcare issue of importance to the community
Get assistance in carrying out community healthcare needs assessment studies
Get feedback on a research proposal and how it can reflect the interests of community members
Identify research topics that are relevant to community needs
Identify where to look for project impact
Build skills in community-engaged research
How can community members get involved?
Establish a partnership with academic researchers. This can be done through:
Periodic CTSC Community Engagement Pilot Grants opportunities. Examples include:
A refugee and immigrant resettlement agency along with a community of recent refugees traumatized by war who worked with a UCD psychiatrist interested in refugees, trauma, and community-engaged research methodology. The partnership has produced a comprehensive report , and continues to work on this issue although the initial project has ended.
Members of the African American Leadership Coalition and a UCD pediatric endocrinologist wrote a grant to explore the knowledge and attitudes of African Americans in Sacramento. Topics of discussion included causes of diabetes and obesity, barriers to better care, and ideas for prevention in family and community settings. An article describing the findings of this project is found on the CDC website.
Writing a grant or working on a project with a researcher who shares your health research interests.
Attending our Community Engagement seminars and events.
Participating in the activities of our Research and Education Community Advisory Board (RECAB).
Many community-based organizations have partnered with the CTSC Community Engagement and Research Program over the years. Several civic organizations, clinics and other health service organizations, local businesses, schools, churches and youth agencies have joined with UC Davis investigators in research and educational ventures around academic/community health priorities. A partial listing of those organizations is found below.
Ethel Hart Senior Center Project: Host for a research project, The Sentinel Network, to ask community participants about their attitudes towards health research and provide a health assessment and referrals to community resources and health studies.
Mexican Consulate Project: Host for a research project, The Sentinel Network, to ask community participants about their attitudes towards health research and provide a health assessment and referrals to community resources and health studies.
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services Project: Host for a research project, The Sentinel Network, to ask community participants about their attitudes towards health research and provide a health assessment and referrals to community resources and health studies.
St. Matthew Christian Church Project: Host for a research project, The Sentinel Network, to ask community participants about their attitudes towards health research and provide a health assessment and referrals to community resources and health studies.
UCD Cancer Center/Mercy San Juan Medical Center Prostate Cancer Support Group Project: Hosts for CTSC trainee presentations on advances in prostate cancer research
Underground Books Project: Hosts for CTSC trainee presentations on peripheral artery disease and on cardiac emergency medicine
Wellspring Women's Center Project: Partner in design of instruments for evaluation of women's health services. Host for a research project, The Sentinel Network, to ask community participants about their attitudes towards health research and provide a health assessment and referrals to community resources and health studies.
The Community Engagement and Research Program has over twenty community partners, as far south as Tulare County.
The Community Engagement and Research Program is a community outreach partner on grants from six different UCD academic departments and centers.
The Research and Education Community Advisory Board for the Community Engagement and Research Program has advised over fifty health researchers on strategies for forming partnerships with community groups since 2007.
The Community Engagement and Research Program has provided input to five investigators about the community engagement approaches of their PCORI grant applications in FY 2013-2014.