Community Research Fellows Training Program: Evaluation of a COVID-19-Precipitated Virtual Adaptation

Nicole Ackermann, Sarah Humble, Jacquelyn V. Coats, Carlette Lewis Rhone, Craig Schmid, Vetta Sanders Thompson, Kia L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community engagement is important for promoting health equity. However, effective community engagement requires trust, collaboration, and the opportunity for all stakeholders to share in decision-making. Community-based training in public health research can build trust and increase community comfort with shared decision-making in academic and community partnerships. The Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) Program is a community-based training program that promotes the role of underserved populations in research by enhancing participant knowledge and understanding of public health research and other relevant topics in health. This paper describes the process of modifying the original 15-week in-person training program to a 12-week online, virtual format to assure program continuation. In addition, we provide program evaluation data of the virtual training. Average post-test scores were higher than pre-test scores for every session, establishing the feasibility of virtual course delivery. While the knowledge gains observed were not as strong as those observed for the in-person training program, findings suggest the appropriateness of continuing to adapt CRFT for virtual formats.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3254
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • community engagement
  • engagement science
  • health equity
  • stakeholder engagement


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