Community Engagement Studio

Community Engagement Studio

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) – in partnership with the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) – presents a groundbreaking model for health research: The Community Engagement Studio (CE Studio). The UCI team leads a presentation on their lessons learned running CE Studios after being trained by the creators from Vanderbilt University. This model encourages a collaboration that brings together researchers and community members, fostering a dynamic and effective approach to addressing health issues. By incorporating community input into health research methodology, we can improve the impact of the research outcomes on the communities the research aims to serve.

We invite you to explore the CE Studios model further on SBM's webpage, where we delve into the details of this approach. Learn more about how this could be a valuable addition to your research toolkit and help enhance the impact of your work.


meetingCommunity input can increase the quality and relevance of research, improve recruitment and retention for clinical  trials, and inform community engagement sections for grant proposals, but enhancing public participation is one of  the central challenges facing clinical research activities today. Engaging community members, patients, caregivers,  community health providers, advocates and policy makers in research is complex. Many researchers are not  equipped to identify, recruit, convene, and engage these stakeholders, or prepare them for participation in research in an advisory capacity. The CE Studio provides a framework for stakeholders to give immediate feedback to researchers on specific areas of concern before a research project is implemented, or to assist a struggling project.

The UC Irvine Community Engagement Core of the ICTS has a prime directive to bring together academic researchers and community members to improve community health and healthcare through community-engaged research. CE Studios were developed by theVanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research’s Community Engaged Research Core to help researchers work directly with patients and other community stakeholders in a way that is culturally sensitive and observes community priorities, values, and needs. The Vanderbilt team has trained community engagement navigators across the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) consortium to conduct CE Studios at their home institutions, including navigators at UC Irvine.


The CE Studio can be a valuable experience for researchers at any stage in the research process. Faculty, post-docs, fellows, and graduate students who are interested in receiving feedback from their population of interest on the relevance and feasibility of their research ideas have reported positive impacts on their projects and proposals. The CE Studio provides a structured forum to gain valuable patient or community insight, and has the potential to transform the way community and academic researchers work together. In a CE Studio, members of the researcher’s population of interest (i.e., patients, caregivers, providers, community organizations, etc.) serve in a consultative role, and thus are considered community experts.

For more information about CE Studios, please contact Adrijana Gombosev (agmobose@hs.uci.edu) or Robynn Zender (rzender@hs.uci.edu). To request a CE Studio, please complete the survey found here.