What is Community Based Research?

As stated in Community-Based Research and Higher Education,  community-based research (CBR) is a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change, but we find that definition to be rather limiting, so we like to define it as an opportunity to explore an area of mutual interest with others (Strand, et al, 2003, p.3).

Another definition that can be found is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change... ~ Community Health Scholars Program

Pulled from the CBPR curriculum that is included in the packet, but was adapted from this site: http://www.kellogghealthscholars.org/about/community.cfm

Principles of Community- Based Research: (p8)

1) CBR is a collaborative enterprise between academic researchers (professors and students) and community members (For more info: p8-11)

2) CBR validates multiple sources of knowledge and promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery and dissemination of the knowledge produced. (p.11-13)

3) CBR has as its goal, social action and social change for the purpose of achieving social justice (p.13-15)


What makes Community-Based Research unique?

  • The idea that all forms of knowledge are valuable; both the academic knowledge of the faculty and students, as well as the experiential knowledge of the community members have a significant place in the success of a CBR project (11).
  • The potential need to incorporate multiple research methods with the intention of drawing out useful, relevant knowledge and because they invite the involvement of all parties, or stakeholders, in identifying, defining, and struggling to solve problems (12).
  • To make the results of the CBR project accessible to the community in which it is supposed to be serving, the dissemination of the information may have to be shared in creative, user-friendly ways. Writing to publish in an academic journal may result, but it should not be the first or only way the information is shared with the public (12).

Page last modified July 24, 2014