Community-Engaged Participatory Research

Community-engaged research is an approach for conducting research that involves meaningful partnerships between communities and academic researchers. Community-engaged participatory research has the potential to address pressing public health issues by bridging gaps between research and practice, and ultimately making interventions more effective and sustainable.



Kim M. Gans, PhD, MPH
Human Development and Family Studies
University of Connecticut

Dr. Gans has 30 years of experience in intervention development and evaluation research in community-based settings. The majority of this research has been with ethnic minority, low income, and/or low-literate populations. This research has used extensive formative research to design interventions using community engagement and community-based participatory research (CBPR). Her research includes multi-level approaches to improve diet and/or physical activity through changing home, work, school, childcare, and neighborhood environments in conjunction with behavioral interventions. Dr. Gans is currently leading a CBPR planning grant to reduce health disparities related to childhood obesity in the city of Providence, RI. Two other emphases of her work include using innovative technology to create tailored interventions to change health behavior, and translational research to study the dissemination of effective interventions to various community and clinical settings. Furthermore, for the past 15 years, Dr. Gans has been teaching a course entitled Designing and Evaluating Public Health Interventions that uses an intervention mapping approach to develop and evaluate theory-based interventions. She has taught this approach to over 400 students and faculty and assisted in the development of interventions on multiple health topics.



Akilah Dulin-Keita, PhD
Assistant Professor
Behavioral and Social Sciences
Brown University

Dr. Dulin-Keita’s work focuses on identifying neighborhood contexts of diet, physical activity and obesity-related comorbidities. She has particular interest in using community-engaged mixed methods research designs to understand processes of neighborhood dynamics resulting from urban revitalization policies and public health interventions and the potential effects on the aforementioned behavioral and health outcomes. She also uses these methods to develop culturally appropriate childhood obesity interventions for under-served populations, develop measures, and examine the roles of psychosocial stressors on health behaviors and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

These researchers have indicated their willingness to serve as consultants or as investigators on grants. It is up to you, the researcher, to determine whether their skills are a workable match to the needs of your research.