Equitable Community Research Partnerships (2021-2022)

Collaborative research partnerships between institutions of higher education and local communities offer a valuable form of scholarship and a transformative approach to teaching and learning. Such partnerships improve research rigor and relevance, provide students with enhanced problem-solving skills and educational satisfaction, add valuable problem-solving capacity to community organizations and direct research toward critical community-identified needs.

Yet, ethical and effective university-community research collaboration is complicated by numerous factors (e.g., university incentive structures, rigid research processes, lack of community clarity on academic processes, power dynamics that challenge partners’ willingness to voice concerns).that can exacerbate power imbalance between university and community entities. 

This team examined community-engaged research practices between Durham community organizations and Duke researchers by conducting surveys and interviews tailored to each group. Their research revealed that, although many partnerships are perceived as having been valuable, both the community partners and the Duke researchers encountered barriers and challenges in developing research collaborations. Based on these findings, the team made recommendations and suggestions for future directions for improving community-engaged research and strengthening community partnerships.

Learn more about this project team by viewing the team's video.


Fall 2021 – Spring 2022 

Team Outputs

Overcoming Barriers to Meaningful Community-University Research Partnerships (2022 Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase)

Understanding Community-Engaged Research (CEnR) Partnerships from Institutional and Community Perspectives (poster by Andrew McGannon, Elaijah Lapay, Eric Juarez, Gabriela Nagle Alverio, Hadeel Hamoud, Megan Gray, Rupanjali Karthik, Leslie Parkins, Kathy Sikes, Jessica Sperling and Noelle Wyman Roth, presented at Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Showcase, Duke University, April 13, 2022)

This Team in the News

Student Spotlight: Elaijah Lapay ’24

Elaijah Lapay: 2023 Recipient of the Lars Lyon Community Service Award

‘We can tackle these problems together’: Meet Graduate/Professional Young Trustee finalist Eric Juarez

Blue Devil of the Week: A Civic Engagement Leader

Meet the Members of the 2021-2022 Bass Connections Student Advisory Council

See related team, Equitable University-Community Research Partnerships (2022-2023).


Image: Aerial view of downtown Durham and American Tobacco campus, with Duke Clinical Research Institute at right, by Jared Lazarus/Duke University

Aerial view of downtown Durham and American Tobacco campus, with Duke Clinical Research Institute at right.

Team Leaders

  • Megan Gray, Social Science Research Institute
  • Leslie Parkins, Office of Civic Engagement
  • Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza, Nicholas School of the Environment-Environmental Sciences and Policy
  • Kathy Sikes, Service Learning
  • Jessica Sperling Smokoski, Social Science Research Institute

/graduate Team Members

  • Eric Juarez, Psychology-PHD, Psychology-AM
  • Rupanjali Karthik, Doctor of Juridical Science
  • Andrew McGannon, Masters of Public Policy
  • Gabriela Nagle Alverio, Environmental Policy-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Hadeel Hamoud, Political Science (AB)
  • Elaijah Lapay, Program II (AB)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, School of Nursing
  • Noelle Wyman Roth, Social Science Research Institute

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Community Engaged Research Initiative