Community Engagement Research Program (CERP)
The Community Engagement Research Program (CERP) builds on two existing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded Prevention Research Centers (PRCs) at MSM and Emory, both of which have a strong track record in developing community-based research initiatives that are responsive to the needs and priorities of the communities served by each center. The two PRCs provide outstanding models of academic-community partnerships through which academic scientists, in collaboration with community members, are able to conduct community-engaged research, build community capacity, and train students and junior investigators in community-engaged research approaches. CERP unites the two schools’ other academic-community research partnerships, develops new bi-directional collaborations, and interfaces with other ACTSI components.
CERP provides the framework and training to disseminate and promote effective interventions and recruit participants for Clinical Research Network-based clinical studies as well as community intervention trials. Equally important, the program increases community capacity to participate in research (including the identification of research questions and topics for discovery) and works toward the improvement of its own health. CERP transforms research from a scientist-subject interaction that generates publishable data to a more equitable partnership - one in which the process of research, as well as the outcomes, benefit both the researchers and the community. This will lead to a reduction in health disparities.