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J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2009 Jun;4(2):3-16. doi: 10.1525/jer.2009.4.2.3.

Faculty perspectives on community-based research: "I see this still as a journey".

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Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


ACADEMIC FACULTY MEMBERS ARE increasingly following community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles. We conducted qualitative, in-depth interviews with 22 Johns Hopkins faculty members who conduct community-based research to understand their experiences and perspectives. Respondents engaged the community in numerous ways, ranging from working with community advisory boards to hiring community members as project staff to collaborating with community members across all phases of research. Challenges included defining "community," ensuring adequate community representation, sharing power with community partners, overcoming an institutional history of strained community-academic relationships, and working within existing academic incentive structures. Despite these challenges, respondents generally felt their experiences conducting research with community participation were positive and successful. Policy changes at funding and academic institutions and an emphasis on the similarities between CBPR and ethical principles could improve support for CBPR approaches.

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