Community Engagement

Community engagement is 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.1

Engaging community members, patients, and other key stakeholders in research and academic partnerships is essential for reducing health disparities, improving population health indicators, and transforming social and economic conditions.

Community Engagement Studios (CE Studios)

CE Studios provide a structured forum for researchers to gain valuable patient or community input at different stages of research development and implementation. CE studios can address:

  • culturally appropriateness of recruitment materials and participant compensation
  • participant retention strategies
  • simplifying the consent process and identifying entry points for community-based recruitment
  • intervention design
  • survey design
  • ethical considerations
  • translations of research findings into practice

“[Because of my Studio experience], I recognize the need to get community input early on as I’m designing a research study.”
– Patty Cavazos-Rehg, PhD,
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Benefits to the research team include:

  • access to community and patient experts from different settings
  • immediate feedback at different stages of project development and implementation
  • an opportunity to build relationships with community partners
  • assessment of the feasibility and appropriate of the project from different perspectives
  • buy-in from key stakeholders

If you are interested in requesting a CE studio, please complete this brief application and we will follow up with you.

To learn more about the CE studio process, please contact Hilary Broughton at hilary.broughton@wustl.edu or 314-273-1010.

What’s Your Reach? Campaign

What’s your reach? is a campaign dedicated to making research understandable and relatable to everyone. Through the campaign we:

  • provide research education in community settings
  • dispel myths and misconceptions about research
  • increase understanding of the importance of diversity in research
  • discuss opportunities to participate in research—both as community experts and as study participants
  • engage in dialogue about research experiences with community members
  • partner with researchers to provide health education

Staff engages with community members at locations throughout the St. Louis region, including libraries, YMCAs, employment agencies, community centers, health fairs, and food pantries.

If you are a community partner or university researcher interested in learning more or collaborating with the What’s your reach? campaign, please contact Hilary Broughton at hilary.broughton@wustl.edu or 314-273-1010.


1CDC/ATSDR Principles of Community Engagement, 1997.