Community-Based Participatory Research Program (CBPR)

Program Description

The NIMHD Community-Based Participatory Research Program (CBPR) supports collaborative interventions that involve scientific researchers and community members to address diseases and conditions disproportionately affecting populations experiencing health disparities. Recognizing the strength of each partner, scientific researchers across multiple disciplines and community members collaborate on all aspects of the project, which may include a needs assessment, planning, research intervention design, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of community-level interventions. The community is involved in the CBPR program as an equal partner with the scientists. This helps ensure that interventions created are responsive to the community’s needs.

The CBPR program has two aims:

  • To address the need for improved transdisciplinary and intervention research methods and approaches addressing health disparities
  • To strengthen the science of community engagement in addressing health disparities in socially disadvantaged population groups

NIMHD is specifically interested in multilevel interventions that involve a combination of individual, group, and community-level components; incorporate health information technology applications and/or social media elements; and draw upon existing community strengths and resilience.


  • Enhance community capacity by supporting equal community participation in research for which they will directly benefit
  • Establish sustainable programs that improve health behaviors and health outcomes in populations experiencing health disparities
  • Accelerate the translation of research findings to communities experiencing health disparities by designing effective and culturally tailored interventions

Successful projects will examine use of partnership approaches through a framework considering determinants from more than one domain of influence (biological, behavioral, physical/built environment or healthcare system) and/or level of influence (individual, interpersonal, community, and societal). (See NIMHD Research Framework)

Additional Information

CBPR begins with the involvement of and a research topic of importance to the community and combines knowledge with action to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities. These projects address a wide array of diseases and conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and HIV/AIDS. NIMHD launched its CBPR program in 2005 and funded 25 CBPR planning grants to plan and pilot health interventions. In 2008, NIMHD awarded 40 grants for Phase II of the program to conduct research interventions among populations experiencing health disparities. These grants were dispersed among 25 states across the country, including areas near the U.S.-Mexico border, the rural South, the American Indian reservations of the West, and medically underserved boroughs of New York City. In 2009, six additional CBPR planning grants were awarded through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for 2 years only. In 2013, NIMHD awarded 33 CBPR planning grants and 14 CBPR dissemination grants.

NIMHD currently funds existing grantees under the CBPR program. While there is no active CBPR funding opportunity announcement (FOA) at this time, researchers may submit proposals to other FOAs where the CBPR approach is applicable. Please contact the program officer for more information.

NIH Guide No.: RFA-MD-15-010

Page updated Jan. 12, 2024