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Health Educ Behav. 2014 Jun;41(3):267-74. doi: 10.1177/1090198113511815. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

A Model for Strengthening Collaborative Research Capacity: Illustrations From the Atlanta Clinical Translational Science Institute.

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Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Community-engaged research is effective in addressing health disparities but may present challenges for both academic institutions and community partners. Therefore, the need to build capacity for conducting collaborative research exists. The purpose of this study is to present a model for building research capacity in academic-community partnerships.


The Building Collaborative Research Capacity Model was developed as part of the Community Engagement Research Program (CERP) of the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI). Six domains of collaborative research capacity were identified and used to develop a model. Inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes of building collaborative research capacity are described.


To test this model, a competitive request for applications was widely distributed and four community-based organizations were funded to participate in a 2-year program with the aim of conducting a pilot study and submitting a research proposal for funding to National Institutes of Health or another major funding agency. During the first year, the community-based organization partners were trained on conducting collaborative research and matched with an academic partner from an ACTSI institution. Three of the academic-community partnerships submitted pilot study results and two submitted a grant proposal to a national agency.


The Building Collaborative Research Capacity Model is an innovative approach to strengthening academic-community partnerships. This model will help build needed research capacity, serve as a framework for academicians and community partners, and lead to sustainable partnerships that improve community health.


community health; community health promotion; community-based participatory research; health disparities; health promotion

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