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Community engaged research (CEnR) is not a specific methodology; rather it is a value system that gives priority to the voice of the community and patient. CENR is a collaborative process between the researcher and community partners to create and disseminate knowledge in order to contribute to the discipline and strengthen the well-being of the community. The Community Engagement & Outreach (CEO) Core of the Delaware-CTR ACCEL Program (ACCEL) will make research more impactful and responsive to community needs by expanding the work of our initial funding and through the accomplishment of the following three specific aims.

Community engaged research requires a relationship between community partners and researchers that addresses local health issues through shared power, negotiation, and commitment to finding a solution. By engaging the communities most affected by the research, we will make the research more locally meaningful and impactful.  Funders are increasingly looking for work that includes the community in the research team and emphasizes outcomes that matter to patients and communities.


A group of people with diverse characteristics who are linked by social or professional ties, share common perspectives, interests or health concerns, or have/will be engaged in joint action in geographical locations or settings or groups. 
Some examples of health concerns can include environmental, social, emotional, mental or physical factors. Settings or groups can include not only geographic communities, but also online or clinical communities.

Community Engaged Research

Community-Engaged research (CEnR) actively incorporates and responds to the voice and needs of the community, particularly under-resourced communities. CEnR recognizes community voice as a driving force for research and incorporates that voice in its approach to understanding the problem, conducting research activities, interpreting results and/or disseminating findings in a context of shared power and respect. CEnR  requires academic members to become partners with the community and community members to become part of the research team; thereby, creating a unique working and learning environment before, during and after the research.


The mission of the CEO is to act as a catalyst between Delaware’s clinical and translational health researchers and the communities that are impacted by their work and to be a resource to researchers as they work to include community voice in their research.


  • To have the active participation of the diverse communities that comprise Delaware in all activities of the Delaware-CTR ACCEL (include inter-CTR work)
  • To have a research workforce that understands the central importance of identifying the communities impacted by their research and engages those communities as experts and partners
  • To have ACCEL members conduct research that is directly linked to improved health and decreased health inequities for Delawareans; building on the strength of our researchers and addressing community-identified health needs


  • Collaboration, equity, humility, transparency, impact
  • “Nothing about us without us”
  • Everyone is an expert in something, and everyone is a learner

Benefits of Getting Involved

  • Mentorship opportunities and feedback from a Mentoring and Advisory Council of senior researchers
  • Educational tools
    • Access to grant writing help
    • Access to online classes
    • Resources library of seminars and webinars
  • Creation of Individual Development Plans to further develop your career
  • Biostatistical help and practical guidance from experiences researchers
    • Experimental design
    • Statistical Analysis
    • Database design
    • Information Technology assistance
    • REDCap tutorials and support
    • Presentations and seminars
  • Grant proposal development
  • Manuscript preparation
  • Connections with others in your field
  • Interaction with community agencies with similar interests

Engaging patients and diverse communities in research improves research impact by using the unique local knowledge of the target community to identify key questions and desired outcomes from the perspective of the patient and community. Community engagement has the power to link the critical process of research to the creative process of dissemination, implementation and policy. This ACCEL CEO team has the experience, knowledge, skills, commitment, and relationships to support a culture shift and prioritize community engaged research that addresses community priorities across ACCEL and our communities.

Next CEO/CAC Bi-Monthly Meeting: Thursday, May 19th, 2022