Members of the public are increasingly engaged in health-service and biomedical research and provide input into the content of research, design and data sharing. As there is variation among different communities on how research is perceived, to engage all sectors of the general public research institutions need to customize their approach.Objective
This paper explores how research institutions and community leaders can partner to determine the best ways to engage different sectors of the public in research.Design
Following a literature review, a research institution engaged with four different sectors of the public through their respective representative community-based organizations (CBOs) by interviews with leaders, community member focus groups and a joint project.Setting
San Diego and Imperial Counties, California, United States of America (USA).Conclusion
Before embarking on more specific research projects, investigators can gain valuable insights about different communities' attitudes to, and understanding of, health services and biomedical research by interacting directly with members of the community, collaborating with community leaders, and jointly identifying steps of engagement tailored to the community.