Community Engagement Core

The CTSI Community Engagement Core facilitates equitable, authentic, and robust community-engaged research to improve health.

How do we support the Duke research community?

By building capacity

We build research-ready communities and community-ready researchers.

By facilitating connections

 We facilitate meaningful and equitable partnerships and collaborations between community stakeholders and academic investigators.

By fostering authentic communications 

We foster transparent, bidirectional communication between community stakeholders and academic investigators.


CTSI recognizes that collaborating with the community in research is the foundation of improving public health. The goals of community engagement are to increase public trust in the research enterprise and to improve overall public health.

In support of community engagement, Duke is:

Community Engagement Programs & Services

Consultation and matchmaking services

Assess and enhance stakeholder’s readiness to successfully partner in community-engaged research. This program has a robust evaluation component to track, modify, and measure program activities and outcomes.

Patient and Community Advisors in Research pilot program (PCAREs)

Establishes a network of ambassadors to ensure patient and community perspectives are proactively included in the research process.

Population health improvement awards

Identify and promote the most promising collaborations toward the development of a research question, and provide support to establish pilot data for community-partnered fundable proposals.

Community enrichment tours

Consultation around building tours to promote transparency and trust between community members, community organizations, and academic researchers.
Key sites include Lincoln Community Health, the former Watts Hospital, CAARE, Inc., El Centro Hispano Inc., Senior PharmAssist, Black Wall Street, and a comparison of grocery stores in various community neighborhoods.​

Research enrichment tours

Consultation around building tours to promote transparency and trust around the research process among community members, patients, and academic researchers.
Key sites include the Biobank, the Institutional Review Board, the first in humans laboratory, and other research venues.

E-library for community and research resources

Provides training, videos, and other evidence-based capacity-building tools for research teams and community partners to equitably and fully engage in community engaged research.

Sparks program

Brings together researchers, community groups, patients, and other stakeholders who work on the same health issue from different approaches across the translational spectrum to spark new and innovative ideas for community-engaged research projects.


If you'd like more information about any of these programs, please contact one of the following members of the community engagement core.

Rosa Gonzalez-Guarda, Co-Director

Jennifer Gierisch, Co-Director

Pam Maxson, Managing Director

Leonor Corsino, Associate Director

Schenita Randolph, Associate Director

Kenisha Bethea, Research Program Leader

Eve Marion, Research Program Leader

Daphne Lancaster, Program Coordinator

Diane Willis, Program Coordinator

Davon Washington, Program Coordinator