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Community Based Participatory Research
Systems Science
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Selection of Dr. William T. Riley as the Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH
July 30, 2015

OBSSR 20th Anniversary Celebration
April 09, 2015

2015 Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health
April 10, 2015

2015 UCLA Summer Institute on Mobile Health (mHealth) Technology Research
February 23, 2015

Just out! Social Science and Medicine releases Special Issue:Educational Attainment and Adult Health: Contextualizing Causality. Supported by OBSSR
February 10, 2015

  More News >>

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November 5, 2015
BSSR Lecture Series - Video Games and Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Education
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Bethesda, MD

December 4, 2015
BSSR Lecture Series - Good Behavior: Sharing, and Reusing Research Video
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Bethesda, MD

More Events >>

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Home > Scientific AreasMethodology > Community Based Participatory Research

Community-Based Participatory Research

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is an applied collaborative approach that enables community residents to more actively participate in the full spectrum of research (from conception – design – conduct – analysis – interpretation – conclusions – communication of results) with a goal of influencing change in community health, systems, programs or policies. Community members and researchers partner to combine knowledge and action for social change to improve community health and often reduce health disparities. Academic/research and community partners join to develop models and approaches to building communication, trust and capacity, with the final goal of increasing community participation in the research process. It is an orientation to research which equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings.

Improving public health often entails moving beyond the conventional health care system to include integrated and innovative approaches. CBPR has emerged as an alternative research paradigm which integrates education and social action to improve health and deepen our scientific base of knowledge in the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, and health disparities. It is regarded as an effective method for transferring evidence-based research from clinical settings to communities that can most benefit thereby improving health. CBPR's community-partnered research processes offer the potential to generate better-informed hypotheses, develop more effective interventions, and enhance the translation of the research results into practice. Thus, CBPR is an essential tool for action-oriented and community-driven public health research.

Advantages of community-based participatory research include:

  • Joining partners with diverse expertise to address complex public health problems
  • Improving intervention design and implementation by facilitating participant recruitment and retention
  • Increasing the quality and validity of research
  • Enhancing the relevance and use of data
  • Increasing trust and bridging cultural gaps between partners
  • Providing resources for the communities involved
  • Benefiting the community and researchers alike through the knowledge gained and actions taken
  • The potential to translate research findings to guide the development of further interventions and policy change
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) continues supporting this collaborative approach; the NIH portfolio of CBPR increases annually in both quantity of funded projects and participating institutes/centers. More than two dozen Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) on CBPR have been released over the past decade with support from the following NIH components: NCI, NCRR (dissolved), NHLBI, NIAAA, NICHD, NIDA, NIDCD, NIDCR, NIEHS, NIMH, NIMHD (formerly NCMHD), NINR, OBSSR, and ORWH.

Additionally, a CBPR Scientific Interest Group (SIG) has been established at the NIH with the purpose of strengthening communication among federal agencies with an interest in supporting CBPR methodologies in the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research, education, health care delivery, or policy. The NIH CBPR SIG’s priority objectives are as follows:

  1. Serve as a focal point to identify and develop new, coordinated activities to increase awareness, understanding and use of CBPR;
  2. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of CBPR;
  3. Identify challenges and opportunities for supporting CBPR; Encourage research training and career development opportunities for CBPR researchers and practitioners; and
  4. Serve as a network through which information can be shared regarding community-based participatory research activities.

Recent Funding Opportunities

The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) recognizes that in order to maximize the relevance, dissemination, and implementation of research for the public, communities should have the opportunity to be actively engaged in the research enterprise, including active participation in research; translation and application of research findings to community-based practice and public health initiatives; and using research-generated evidence in support of public health policy decisions. Accordingly, OBSSR is committed to promoting community-partnered research and the advantages it offers in advancing the public’s health. Towards this end, OBSSR developed numerous activities and resources in recent years as featured on this page. These initiatives encourage and support community-partnered research in hopes of accelerating public health research and the impact of research findings.

Select the hyperlinked text for complete information:
  • PA-08-074 (R01) Funding Opportunity Announcement: Community Participation in Research
  • PAR-08-075 (R01) Funding Opportunity Announcement: Community Participation Research Targeting the Medically Underserved
  • PAR-08-076 (R21) Funding Opportunity Announcement: Community Participation Research Targeting the Medically Underserved
  • FAQs: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for PAR-08-075 and PAR-08-076
  • Sampling of grants PDF(49k) funded through OBSSR’s CBPR funding opportunity announcements
  • PI Guidance: A Guide for Applicants of OBSSR-initiated Funding Opportunity Announcements
  • Applicant Pitfalls: A List of Common Application Problems

Recent Training Initiatives

Select the hyperlinked text for complete information:

For additional information on the listed resources and initiatives, please contact OBSSR’s lead, Dana M. Sampson at

How can you obtain information on relevant funding opportunities at the NIH? There are several ways including:

  • Subscribe to the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) listserv dedicated to disseminating NIH Funding Opportunity Announcements on behavioral and social sciences research. Instructions on how to subscribe are available at:
  • Subscribe to the NIH Guide listserv which provides weekly listings of all new research opportunities at the NIH. Instructions on how to subscribe are available at:
  • Search the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (a.k.a. “The NIH Guide”) which is the official publication for all NIH research grant policies, guidelines and funding opportunities. It is available at:
  • Subscribe to the Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) listserv that is co-sponsored by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) and the Wellesley Institute. The CBPR listserv is a resource for sharing knowledge and experience with the goal of contributing to strengthening the field of CBPR. To join the listserv, visit:


Sampling of grants funded through OBSSR’s community-based participatory research (CBPR) funding opportunities:

Activity Code

Grant Number

PI Name


Project Title

Funding Opportunity



Sia, Irene G. et al

Mayo Clinic

Healthy Immigrant Families: Working Together To Move More and To Eat Well




Rhodes, Scott

Wake Forest Univ.

Using CBPR to Reduce HIV Risk Among Immigrant Latino MSM




Miller, Pamela Kay, et al

Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT)

Protecting the Health of Future Generations: Assessing and Preventing Exposures




Tanjasiri, Sora Park, et al

California State Univ.-Fullerton

A Pap Test Intervention to Enhance Decision Making among Pacific Islander Women




Nguyen, Tung T.

Univ. of California, San Francisco

Lay Health Workers and Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Chinese Americans




Arcury, Thomas A.

Wake Forest Univ.

CBPR on Pesticide Exposure and Neurological Outcomes for Latinos: PACE4




Rosal, Milagros C., et al

Univ. of Massachusetts

Barriers and Facilitators of Mental Health Services Utilization Among Latinos




Wright, Kynna N.

Univ. of California, Los Angeles

Impact of a CBPR School Program on Obesity-Related Outcomes in Underserved Youth




Hosig, Kathryn W., et al

Virginia Tech Carilion

Church-based Community Diabetes Education Targeting Underserved African Americans




Rothschild, Steven K., et al

Rush Univ. Medical Center

Block-by-Block: The Humboldt Park Campaign Against Diabetes




James, Aimee S.

Washington Univ. in St. Louis

Using Photovoice to Engage Community Members in Promoting Colorectal Cancer Awareness




Document, Patricia Isabel

Univ. of Pittsburgh

De la Mano con la Salud (Lend A Hand for Health): A Male Lay Health Advisor Network




Annang, Lucy, et al

Univ. of South Carolina

Assessment of Health Services Needs Pre- and Post-Disaster in Rural South Carolina




Johnston, Judy Ann, et al

Univ. of Kansas

Exploring Oral Health and Insurance Issues Among Uninsured Children




Kobetz, Erin N.

Univ. of Miami

Patn?? en Aksyon: Addressing Cervical Cancer Disparities in Little Haiti




Raj, Anita

Boston Univ.

Using CBPR to Address HIV Risk in Heterosexual Black Men: The MEN Count Program


Recommended References:

Achieving the Promise of Authentic Community-Higher Education Partnerships: Community Partners Speak Out! (2007). Seattle, WA: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. 
(Available online at:

Israel, B., Eng, E., Schulz. A., et al., (eds). (2005). Methods in community-based participatory research for health. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Israel, B., Schulz, A., Parker, E., Becker, A. (1998). Review of Community-Based Research: Assessing Partnership Approaches to Improve Public Health. Annual Review of Public Health, 19, 173-202.

Minkler, M. and Wallerstein, N. (eds). (2008). Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: From Process to Outcomes (2nd edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Minkler, M., Breckwith Vasquez, V., Tajik, M., Petersen, D. (2008a). Promoting Healthy Public Policy through Community-Based Participatory Research. Oakland, CA: PolicyLink.
Seifer, S.D. and Calleson, D.C. (2004). Faculty perspectives on community-based research in academic health centers: Implications for policy and practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care. 18(4): 63-74.

Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action published by The Johns Hopkins University Press. *The first national scholarly journal dedicated to CBPR.

The Community Guide: A Guide to Community Preventive Services.

Viswanathan, M., Ammerman, A., Eng, E., et al., (eds). (2004). Community-Based Participatory Research: Assessing the Evidence. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Wallerstein, N., Duran, B. (2006). Using community-based participatory research to address health disparities. Health Promotion Practice, 7(3), 312-23.
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Community Based Participatory Research