The Kellogg Health Scholars Program defines Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) as a "collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities” (Kellogg Health Scholars, 2014).

In addition, CBPR is designed to benefit the community and the research team by connecting the needs, interests, and assets of the community to the goals of the research project.


  • Facilitates collaborative and equitable partnerships in all phases of the research
  • Integrates and achieves a balance between research and action for the mutual benefit of all partners
  • Recognizes community as a unit of identity
  • Builds on strengths and resources within the community
  • Promotes co-learning and capacity building among all partners
  • Involves a long-term process and commitment
  • Emphasizes local health issues and addresses these from an ecological perspective- understanding that health and disease have many determinants
  • Develops knowledge in collaboration with all partners and disseminates this knowledge to all partners
  • Involves systems development through a cyclical and iterative process

-Developed from Barbara Israel et al, 2005 with revisions

Why is CBPR Important?

Although faculty, clinical staff, and students of Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) and its affiliated entities pursue a variety of community-based research projects, there is a growing need to involve communities in research that is reciprocal and mutually beneficial.

The local community has expressed concerns of not receiving any tangible benefits from our research, to the extent that many no longer wish to be “subjects” of study.

By neglecting community strengths, assets, and needs, we create a negative image of research and academics, undermining our human subject research program and hindering its future growth. Thus, CBPR is an excellent medium for community research as it mutually benefits both community members and the research team.

What Does CBPR Mean to Our Institution?

  • Builds healthy and sustainable partnerships with the community
  • Increases public trust in our research programs and institutions
  • Helps to identify specific needs and strengths within local communities that we can address collaboratively empowering both the community and the researcher
  • Provides targeted programs that tap community potential and are relevant to the needs of the local community
  • Promotes long-term growth of research in local communities
  • The community and institution both learn from each other in the process
  • Promotes research that capitalizes on the community’s assets and addresses the community’s most pressing needs through a responsive research strategy
  • Increases the cultural competence of researchers, clinical staff, faculty, and students

What Does CBPR Mean to Our Researchers?

  • Nurtures research programs based on commitment and support of the community
  • Ensures quality data by asking questions in ways that are meaningful to both the researcher and the community
  • Assists student researchers to achieve learning outcomes and objectives that truly benefit the community; thus, enhancing the chance that students will become future CBPR researchers