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Community-Engaged Research

What is Community-Engaged Research?

Community-engaged research meets the needs of the community by involving those who have a stake in improving health. This can include communities and their members, patients, clinicians, researchers, purchasers, payers, industry, hospitals and health systems, training institutions and policymakers.

Why is Community-Engaged Research important?

Penn State believes that community-engaged research produces better research. Together, researchers and the community can participate as full partners in the research process. These partnerships develop evidence-based practices and community health coalitions, translate research into policy and practice, and much more.

How does Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute support Community Engaged Research?

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute works with Penn State researchers and the community to:

  • provide assistance with the engagement of community and multi-disciplinary research teams in strategic partnerships that translate research into policy and practice
  • ensure communities have the capacity to participate as full partners in the research process, are consulted for their research priorities, respected, valued and rewarded for collaborative activities
  • ensure understanding of and strong support for research and ultimately the enhanced health of individuals and communities across their lifespan
  • nurture opportunities for scientific discoveries
  • develop evidence based practices for successful university/community partnerships
  • develop community health coalitions

Researchers interested in more information, or help in setting up a research project in the community, as well as stakeholders and communities interested in more information on working with the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, should email

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Explore Community-Engaged Research

Tools and Resources Expand answer

The Community-Engaged Research Core provides tools and resources for both researchers and community members.

Explore tools and resources

Ways to Get Involved Expand answer

Better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose and understand human sicknesses are not possible without the help of willing volunteers. There are many ways to be involved in Penn State research.

Explore ways to get involved in research

Examples Expand answer

What does community-engaged research look like when it’s successful?

These examples showcase some ways this work is being done by Penn State’s investigators and the communities with whom they partner. Click or tap each one to learn more.

About the Community-Engaged Research Team Expand answer

The Community-Engaged Research Team provides community-centered translational science infrastructure that builds upon the existing community engagement taking place at Penn State.

The team establishes and nurtures relationships with people, organizations and researchers through transparency, utmost ethical conduct and demonstrated commitment to the common good.


Team Members

About Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute Expand answer

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute accelerates discoveries to benefit human health. It is a bridge between basic scientists and clinical researchers and promotes collaboration to discover new treatments, medical procedures and ways to diagnose disease. It helps the Penn State community move its health research more efficiently and effectively out of the science laboratories and into use by the people who need it.

The Institute was established in 2007 and is a member of the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award Network (Grant: UL1 TR002014). It is one of three network members in Pennsylvania and focuses on the health needs of the rural communities that surround Penn State and its academic health system, Penn State Health.

It accomplishes its mission by providing research tools, advanced biostatistical expertise, funding programs for exploration of unique ideas and through a dedicated team for including the community more effectively into research. The Institute also trains the next generation of translational and clinical scientists.

The Institute works with researchers and the community to provide new solutions that will improve the process of turning observations in a lab, clinic or community into methods that improve the health of the citizens of Pennsylvania.

With locations at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey and the College of Health and Human Development at University Park, the Institute develops community partnerships to promote health, reduce the gaps and improve the delivery of care across the state.

Learn more about the Institute