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A Capacity Building Program to Promote CBPR Partnerships between Academic Researchers and Community Members


ML Allen (miallen@umn.edu)


Introduction: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) adds community perspectives to research and aids translational research aims. There is a need for increased capacity in CBPR but few models exist for how to support the development of community/university partnerships.

Objective: Evaluate an approach to promote nascent CBPR partnerships.

Methods: Design was a mixed–methods evaluation using interviews, process notes, and open- and close-ended survey questions. We trained 10 community scholars, matched them with prepared researchers to form seven partnerships, and supported their developing partnerships. Sequential mixed–methods analysis assessed research and partnership processes and identified integrated themes.

Results: Four of seven partnerships were funded within 15 months; all self-reported their partnerships as successful. Themes were: (1) motivators contributed to partnership development and resiliency; (2) partners took on responsibilities that used individuals’ strengths; (3) partners grappled with communication, decision making, and power dynamics; and (4) community–university infrastructure was essential to partnership development.

Conclusions: This program for developing nascent partnerships between academicians and community members may guide others in increasing capacity for CBPR. Clin Trans Sci 2011; Volume 4: 428–433