Community-Academic Partnership (CAP) Program

Founded on the idea that “together we are better,” the GP IDeA-CTR Network supports and funds projects that provide results and value to the communities we serve. While it may be difficult at times to see how research results are relevant to real-world, community settings, we believe that health-based academic research has important and relevant applications. The practice of including community groups and members in the process of developing and implementing research projects has become more prolific over the years. These inclusionary efforts can lessen issues with community-based research design, create a more seamless transition in putting research into practice, and can make research projects more relevant to the community overall. Through this method, research teams are able to advance health science while effectively meeting the needs of the community.

The purpose of the Community-Academic Partnership (CAP) Program is to provide support for research proposals with a strong community focus. Our goal is to improve health and wellness in communities through the development or testing of programs and interventions that are impactful and sustainable in a community setting. Awarded projects have established strong ties to the community as evidenced by a letter of support from a community organization or advocate. Building on the efforts and principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) and Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs), teams of academic researchers and community partners can collaborate to design, implement, and sustain projects and interventions intended to address serious community health issues.

Two awards have been made available through the CAP Program: a pilot project award and a planning award. Pilot projects are 1-year awards for the generation of preliminary data to assess the feasibility and acceptability of community intervention programs. Applications must detail an existing or forming community-academic partnership and how the funds will be used to improve community health. The planning award was designed to provide seed funding for investigators working to (1) develop or engage community advisory boards for project design or planning purposes or (2) engage PBRNs to identify local priorities and begin project planning. Both awards need to outline an existing or forming partnership between researchers and a community group and both need to address an issue cited in our Community Advisory Board’s Health Priorities List.

Our hope is to continue to bridge the gap between research efforts and community needs. The GP IDeA-CTR Network is just one of several CTRs and CTSIs that have implemented such community-engaged research funding programs. Successful programs like these have and will continue to support projects and initiatives that bring together members with a wide range of perspectives and expertise to address community health concerns. We believe these efforts will produce research that is relevant to communities, resolves local needs, and is generalizable to other community or clinical settings.

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