Background: Community–based Participatory Research (CBPR) can be challenging when community leaders and academic researchers have not previously co-led research or worked together with established rules guiding their relationships, roles, and respective functions. The objective of this investigation was to assess the processes and outcomes of the Building Collaborative Research Capacity Grant Program, sponsored by the Community Engagement Research Program of The Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute and designed to foster CBPR.

Methods: Four competitively selected community-based organizations (CBOs) participated in capacity-building workshops designed to build research skills and receive technical assistance to plan a pilot study with academic researchers. Pre- and postsurveys were used to assess the impact of the training and technical assistance on the CBOs’ knowledge and skills and abilities to plan, implement, and evaluate research. Key informant interviews were conducted with academic researchers and CBO dyads to identify experiences, perceptions, and recommendations related to the program model, and seven identified domains of collaborative research including research skills, attitudes toward collaboration, shared goals, institutional factors, mutual respect, human and fiscal resources, and partnering skills.

Results: Areas of research competency increased from pre- to post-survey, with statistically significant increases in Community Assessment (p= 0.046) and Program Planning (p= 0.046). Each partnership had inherent characteristics related to strengths and barriers affecting the research outcomes.

Conclusions: The present results contribute to the literature through assessment of processes, outcomes, and partner insights of a model designed to facilitate collaborative community-engaged research partnerships. Future research should examine the model to expand understanding of the dimensions of effective community and academic research collaboration.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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