Community Research Fellows Training


The CRFT program is no longer accepting applications for the 2020 cohort. If you would like to be added to the contact list for the next round of applications, please contact us at



The Community Research Fellows Training is a 15-week program, based on a Master of Public Health curriculum.  CRFT is intended for community members who currently work in community health and/or have a desire to reduce health disparities in their area.  The fifth cohort of the training program is set to begin May 2019. The cohort will meet weekly at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and will host a certificate ceremony and reception upon course completion in August 2019.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) approaches are often used by universities to engage community stakeholders and address priority public health concerns. Engaging community members in the research process is often the missing link to improving the quality and outcomes of health promotion activities, disease prevention initiatives and research studies. CBPR is particularly useful for increasing community research capacity to address a broad array of public health concerns. Participating in comprehensive evidence-based public health research training can prepare community members for collaborative work with academic researchers and empower them as equal partners in the research process.


Community fellows, click here for the Becker Medical Library Resource Guide.


The purpose of this project is to promote the role of racial, ethnic and other underserved populations in the research enterprise by increasing the capacity for CBPR between researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, community-based organizations and community health workers serving the greater St. Louis metropolitan area to address health disparities. This project has three main research goals:

  • To enhance community knowledge and understanding of research and create a pool of trained community members who can serve on institutional review boards (IRB) and community research advisory boards. We will recruit a multidisciplinary faculty and cohort of community fellows to participate in a semesterlong comprehensive public health and research methods training course for community members adapted from a previous community fellows training program led by principal investigator Melody Goodman, PhD.
  • To develop CBPR pilot projects that address health disparities in the greater St Louis metropolitan area. Through a series of experiential workshops, fellows will learn grant writing, program evaluation and the IRB process. Fellows who complete the training program will be eligible to apply for funding in collaboration with Washington University researchers for CBPR pilot projects in response to a Community Fellows Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will solicit proposals for pilot CBPR projects that align with PECaD’s mission to reduce breast, prostate, colorectal and lung cancer disparities.
  • To conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the program using semistructure interviews and quantitative and qualitative evaluation to assess participant knowledge and satisfaction with the training program.


The project began Sept. 1, 2012.


National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (U54 CA153460)

Project Staff

Vetta Sanders Thompson, PhD (Principal Investigator, Washington University)

Sarah Humble, MS (Project Coordinator, Washington University)

Nicole Ackermann, MPH (Project Coordinator, Washington University)

Contact Information

Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) Program
Phone: 314-747-2183