Document Type

Research Report

Original Date


Date of Submission

November 2014


Within the academy and across VCU there is growing recognition that community-engaged research (CEnR) is a valuable framework that enables researchers to conduct research and produce results that can be directly translated into improvements in human health, education, sustainability, and economic development. One example of VCU’s institutional commitment to community engagement is that a description of CEnR has been added to the revised university promotion and tenure guidelines. Additionally, it is included as a key strategy in advancing the discovery of new knowledge, creative expression, and innovation by increasing and diversifying sponsored research and promoting translational research and scholarship that contributes to human health and addresses the most complex global challenges (ULI 3).

VCU has not collected information on CEnR systematically. This creates challenges in establishing a baseline of activity against which to measure progress in increasing high quality, high impact CEnR. To address this gap, a team representing the Division of Community Engagement, Office of Research, Center for Clinical and Translational Research, and several academic units pursued a two-prong strategy. First, a survey of principal investigators at VCU was used to identify and collect information about CEnR studies approved by the IRB during 2011-2012. Concurrently, the team identified a brief series of questions that now have been added to the IRB application to track future CEnR studies. Institutionalizing the process for collecting these data, as well as the results of the inventory, will aid in future tracking of CEnR as well as support efforts to advance CEnR across the university.

This report highlights findings from the analysis of baseline data and provides an overview of the data collection system now being used as part of the IRB approval process.

Is Part Of

VCU Community-Engaged Research

Upload File