Community-Based Participatory Research Program (CBPR)

Program Description

The NIMHD Community-Based Participatory Research Program (CBPR) supports collaborative research efforts between scientific researchers community members to address diseases and conditions disproportionately affecting health disparity populations. Recognizing the strength of each partner, scientific researchers and community members collaborate on all aspects of the project, including needs assessment, planning, research intervention design, implementation, analyses, and information dissemination. 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 three phases:

  • Phase I (Planning Phase) provides 3 years of funding for the community and its scientific research partners to conduct the needs assessment, identify their priorities, and design and pilot-test the intervention.
  • Phase II (Research Intervention Phase) provides grantees up to 5 years of funding to refine the intervention, develop methods to evaluate its effectiveness, and implement the full-scale intervention.
  • Phase III (Dissemination Phase) provides 3 years of funding for the research-community partners to share their research findings and insights gained from the effective intervention with the targeted CBPR community, as well as with other researchers and organizations.

The CBPR program seeks to incorporate a synergistic blend of research and outreach. The funding for an individual project can last up to 11 years if an applicant applies for each phase of the program and competes successfully at each phase.


  • 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 health disparity populations
  • Accelerate the translation of research findings to health disparity communities by designing effective and culturally tailored interventions

Additional Information

CBPR begins with 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 health disparity populations. 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.


Eligible organizations include academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and tribal governments. Organizations must have demonstrated experience working with racial and ethnic minorities or other health disparity populations in the United States. When applying for funding, applications must present research collaborations between community-based organizations and academic research institutions. Letters of support or a memorandum of agreement or memorandum of understanding are necessary for the application package and should clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of the collaborating individuals and organizations and institutions.

Foreign organizations are not eligible. Collaborators at foreign organizations are not allowed.