Community-Based Participatory Research Scholars and Awards Program

This program is provided by the Community Engagement Core Resource (CECR).


The Community-Based Participatory Research Scholars and Awards Program (CBPR Program) is a key capacity-building opportunity to stimulate community-engaged research between Columbia University faculty and community/faith-based organizations. The CBPR Program offers structured training and practical experience in community-based participatory research.

Participants begin their training with the Introduction to Community-Based Participatory Research course, which provides an overview of the fundamental concepts and components of CBPR methodology and acquaints participants with strategies for developing academic-community partnerships. Working in academic/community partnered pairs, participants co-develop a pilot research proposal that they submit to the Irving Institute for funding consideration.

Training involves ten seminar sessions which meet from 4 to 6:30 PM. Participants are required to undertake independent reading and writing exercises outside of class.

Introduction to Community Based Participatory Research

An important goal of this course is to establish a common language for seminar discussions that will enable all participants to experience co-learning with the goal of empowering partners (community stakeholders and academic researchers) to develop research proposals and carry out funded research of mutual interest. The course seminars will take various formats depending on the topic being covered. Topics covered include: definitions of community, issues of power and control, engagement and participation, the appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative methods, and research design. All seminars will take a lecture-and-lab format, with a 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour exercise lab. The exercise-lab will provide opportunities for discussion and practical applications of concepts presented in the lecture and readings.

Pilot Awards

At the conclusion of the course, participants will be eligible to apply for a one-year pilot grant of $30,000. Up to four applications will be funded. Funding will be awarded to studies that have the potential to apply for larger funding opportunities in CBPR research. The unique pilot awards will require that both the community agency and the academic partner submit as co-principal investigators. This will allow the agency experience in meeting the criteria set forth by the Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s fiscal department and Institutional Review Board. It will also allow the academic partner to gain experience working with a community-based principal investigator in a more equitable way than is currently practiced. Proposal guidelines and application will be distributed early in the course. After the end of the course, participants will have four months to refine their study proposals, receiving regular feedback from the leadership of the Irving Institute’s Community Engagement Core Resource. See a list of current and past CBPR pilot award recipients.

  • Duration: One year
  • Award amount: $30,000
  • Number of awards: Approximately four per year


Applications for the CBPR Program will be accepted in Winter 2019.


Health, social service and faith-based organization (community) applicants must hold the title of executive director, assistant executive director, or other high level administrator at an non-profit organization serving upper Manhattan and/or the Bronx.

Columbia University applicants must be employed at Columbia University with an academic appointment of assistant, associate, or full professor and conduct health research. Prospective academic applicants are encouraged to consult with their department/division chair about their participation in the program.

Applicants must commit to attend all ten seminar sessions and stay for the entire duration of each session, and submit a pilot proposal with their partner at the conclusion of the course. Only academic-community partners in the CBPR Program course are eligible for the pilot awards.


The CBPR Program is offered at no cost to all admitted participants.


Applications for the CBPR program will be accepted starting in Winter 2019.

Applicants will need to submit:

  • Completed application form
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Community applicants who do not hold the title of executive director must submit a letter of support from their supervisor

Academic and community applicants are encouraged to apply together as a partnership. Applicants planning to apply individually are encouraged to discuss their areas of interest with Alejandra N. Aguirre, Senior Program Manager, far in advance of the application deadline. Doing so may aid with identifying a suitable academic/community partner prior to the start of the CBPR Program.

Cite it, Submit it, Share it!

If your research has benefited from one or more Irving Institute resources, please remember to:

  • Cite our CTSA grant, UL1 TR001873, in any relevant publications, abstracts, chapters, and/or posters.
  • Submit your publications to PubMed Central (PMC) for compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • Share your research updates with us by sending an email to:


Alejandra N. Aguirre, DrPH, MPH
Columbia Community Partnership for Health
390 Fort Washington Avenue, Ground Floor
New York, NY 10033
United States