What is Community Engagement?
Community engagement (CE) seeks to build meaningful partnerships between researchers and communities affected by research. This helps to give communities a voice in decisions about research and helps to make research more responsive to their needs. When done well, CE leads to researchers, communities, and other partners sharing important knowledge, information, and resources.
WRAIR Community Engagement
WRAIR has a long history of support for CE through its international research network. In October 2020, WRAIR launched a new CE program in the Washington, D.C area. Initially, WRAIR’s effort aimed to connect with local communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Building mutual trust and understanding with these communities gave them insight into WRAIR’s research and provided an opportunity for input around clinical studies conducted at WRAIR. Recognizing the importance in this work, and moving beyond the pandemic, the WRAIR CE team continues to connect with local communities and organizations to help them better understand the wide array of research that takes place at WRAIR in infectious diseases and brain health.
Community Engagement Goals
Goal 1: Improve community knowledge of WRAIR research and its impacts.
Goal 2: Improve WRAIR researcher knowledge of community needs and values.
Goal 3: Involve community in design and conduct of WRAIR research.
Goal 4: Improve overall trust in clinical research.
Goal 5: Support recruitment of diverse groups in WRAIR research.