Community Engagement Studios

Provided in partnership with UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science


Why Add Community Engagement Studios to Your Research?

Translating your science for real impact requires community engagement. Only through community engagement – at multiple stages of your research – can you ensure your methods and messaging will be effective within the communities you hope to help.

Community engagement, such as through consultative Community Engagement Studio (CE Studio) meetings with community members, provides researchers with the opportunity to ask questions of people who have a personal interest in the outcomes of their research, leading the researchers to modify their protocols or even their specific aims. Community members may provide input on any stage of the research project, including weighing on whether a proposed study merits doing at all.

This may sound daunting and time-consuming, but it’s actually very feasible. And it works. Here are two community engagement success stories from researchers benefiting from CE Studios:

  • "The CE Studio was critical to the success of our project and very competently executed. Simultaneous interpretation improves accessibility of the discussion."
  • "It gave us new perspective in terms of what questions we would want to ask. We included materials on pain and sleep. It was very well received by grant reviewers who specially called out the fact that we did CE Studios in the pink sheet."

Read on to take yourself out into the community and make your research better, more effective, and more relevant.


How to Add Community Engagement Studios

The following resources provide practical training and sample files for bringing the CE Studio model to your institution.

CE Studios are one-time consultative meetings where community members provide input for research teams to optimize research success, relevance, and impact. The consultative meetings can be sought by researchers at any stage of the research project from informing grant applications to improving recruitment and study methods, to dissemination of research findings. CE Studios provide a structured forum to gain valuable patient or community member insight and has the potential to transform the way community and academic researchers work together.


Introductory Course on Community Engagement Studios

This course shares lessons learned about conducting CE Studios, covering topics including the following: the benefits of conducting a CE Studio; the difference between a CE Studio and focus group; components of a CE Studio; virtual vs. in-person meetings; the facilitator role and selecting a facilitator; compensation for community participants; non-English-speaking CE Studios; evaluation of CE Studios and their impact over time; post-studio reporting; and budgeting.

Click here for course slides.


Templates, Worksheets, Scripts, and More

CE Studio Request for Applications Language and Flyer

Table: CE Studio vs Focus Group vs Community Advisory Board

CE Studio Request Form for Investigators to Complete (PDF version) (CSV file for REDCap upload)

Example Exempt IRB Form for CE Studios

CE Studio Campus Advertisement

Checklist for Initial Meeting with the Research Team to Organize a New CE Studio

Sample Discussion Guide for Facilitator

Facilitator Role in CE Studios

Training Slides for CE Studio Facilitators

CE Studio Preparation Checklist (In-Person)

Script: Opening the Community Engagement Studio

Sample Photo Release Form

CE Studio Budget Sample

CE Studio Language for Grant Applications

CE Studio Information and Policies

Instrument: Bio Form for Community Experts to Create Pool of Potential Experts for Future CE Studios (CSV file for REDCap upload)

Instrument: Comment Form for Community Experts to Voice any Unspoken Thoughts (CSV file for REDCap upload) 

Instrument: CE Studio Evaluation Form for Community Experts (CSV file for REDCap upload)

Instrument: CE Studio Evaluation Form for Researchers (CSV file for REDCap upload)

Instrument: Evaluation Form for Researchers at 1-Year Post-CE Studio (CSV file for REDCap upload)

Instrument: CE Studio Evaluation Form for Facilitators (CSV file for REDCap upload)

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) CE Studio Training

PCORI CE Studio Virtual Training Summit Post-Summit Deliverables


Special thanks to Adrijana Gombosev, MS, Robynn Zender, MS, Dara Sorkin, PhD, and Margaret Schneider, PhD, FSBM, for providing these resources and assisting on development of this page.