Community-Based Participatory Research–Speed Dating: An Innovative Model for Fostering Collaborations Between Community Leaders and Academic Researchers

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Abstract

Developing meaningful community-based participatory relationships between researchers and the community can be challenging. The overall success of a community-based participatory relationship should be predicated on commitment and respect from empowered stakeholders. Prior to developing the technique discussed in this article, we hypothesized that the process of fostering relationships between researchers and the community was much like a social relationship: It has to develop organically and cannot be forced. To address this challenge, we developed a community-based participatory research–speed dating technique to foster relationships based on common interests, which we call CBPR-SD. This article describes the logistics of implementing CBPR-SD to foster scholarly collaborations. As part of a federally funded community-based research project, the speed dating technique was implemented for 10 researchers and 11 community leaders with a goal of developing scholarly collaborative groups who will submit applications for community-based research grants. In the end, four collaborative groups developed through CBPR-SD, three (75%) successfully submitted grant applications to fund pilot studies addressing obesity-related disparities in rural communities. Our preliminary findings suggest that CBPR-SD is a successful tool for promoting productive scholarly relationships between researchers and community leaders.

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