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Community Engaged Research Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define community engagement as "the process of working collaboratively with and through groups of people affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, or similar situations to address issues affecting the wellbeing of those people." Community-engaged research (CEnR) is a collaborative process between researchers and those groups in a community who share design, decision-making, result interpretation, and the drawing of conclusions with the goal of addressing local health issues, influencing systems, policies, programs or practice, etc. In essense, instead of research being conducted "on" a population, it's research conducted "with" a population.

The Harvard Catalyst Regulatory Knowledge and Support program and the Community Health Innovation and Research program have partnered to develop resources to support community-engaged research.

The Harvard Catalyst Community-Engaged Research Subcommittee (CEnR) brings together expertise from Harvard Catalyst partnering institutions and community leaders to build research partnerships with community organizations, investigators, and research participants with the goal of educating both researchers and community members, enabling compliance, and collaborating around issues related to regulatory compliance. Learn more on the CEnR How We Work page.

In addition, Community-Based Participatory Research Consulting is available as is the Community Health Innovation and Research Program (HC-CHIRP), which offers advice and training to Harvard researchers and community organizations seeking to conduct research in community settings.

Other resources that researchers may find useful, include:

Human Subject Training for Community Partners

As community partners are an important constituency, CHA and the Harvard Catalyst CEnR subcommittee developed research education and training materials and guides about human research specifically for our community partners. Presentations, facilitator guides, and training assessment tools are available upon request; please contact the CHA IRB office or the Harvard Catalyst for copies and to arrange presentation of the materials.

Another education resource to assist researchers is the Community-Engaged Research (CEnR) and the Institutional Review Board: Principles, Challenges, and Opportunities presentation; it provides an overview of community-engaged research, the risks and ethical issues for CEnR, and the IRB operational challenges and solutions related to CEnR.

IRB Office Contact
Ida Rego
IRB office: (617) 806-8702
IRB office fax: (617) 806-8710

IRB office physical location:
1035 Cambridge Street, Suite 26
Cambridge, MA 02141

IRB office mailing address:
Cambridge Health Alliance
Institutional Review Board Office
1493 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
IRB Leadership Contact
We can be reached through the IRB office at (617) 806-8702:

J. Glover Taylor
Institutional Official
Chief Compliance Officer

Jennifer A. Graf
Manager, Human Research Protection Program and Research Integrity

Lior Givon, MD, PhD
IRB Chair

Sarah E. Nelson, PhD
IRB Vice-Chair