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PEER Fellows, Cohort 3 (2015-2016) 
Community engagement and rigorous science are both necessary to successfully address community health issues. The translation of scientific findings into community and clinical settings needs strong, culturally sensitive, equitable partnerships between academic centers and community/government agencies. The PEER Training Program offers a unique opportunity to strengthen and deepen those partnerships and build capacity to implement and disseminate research in our local communities.

The Program
The PEER Training Program is a 14-month, part-time mentored program designed to increase research partnership capacity in community organizations and facilitate academic/community research partnerships through the training of a selected staff member of that organization. Qualified applicants (fellows) from community organizations will initially engage in an interactive training based on a health issue relevant to the participating community organization. The training will incorporate experience with research process and methodology, and develop increased capacity (knowledge, skills, abilities) to implement, and evaluate research within their own organizations. The fellows will also receive training in cultural competency, health literacy, and the social determinants of health. Integrated into this training is a period dedicated to carrying out a partnered evaluation or research project with a university partner. Fellows will be recruited from community-based, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood clinics, governmental agencies, or organizations that have a primary mission of health programming and information dissemination.

Goals of the Program
  • Increase research capacity in community organizations
  • Strengthen community organization/academic partnerships
  • Facilitate partnered, translational research
Who is developing and running this program?
PEER is a collaborative program of the CTSA Community Engagement Core, Prevention Research Center at Case Western Reserve University, and community organizations. Funding for the program development is provided by the National Institutes of Health through an administrative supplement of the CWRU Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Who is eligible for the PEER Training Program?
  • Fellows will be recruited from community-based, nonprofit organizations, neighborhood clinics, governmental agencies, or organizations that have a primary mission of health programming and information dissemination.
  • Fellows will be recommended by the leadership of their organization and will be matched with a mentor from their organization and a CWRU faculty mentor/advisor.
  • Fellows should be at least mid-level staff in their organization, and ideally be in a position to increase research capacity within their organization.

What benefit does the PEER Training Program provide to participating individuals/fellows?
  • Fellows receive all instructional materials, access to a program-specific virtual classroom website, and a laptop to use for the duration of the training program.
  • Fellows gain knowledge and skills in conducting community engaged research.
  • Fellows complete educational requirements for human subjects research.
  • Fellows network with other professionals bridging research and practice.
What are the benefits to participating organizations?
  • Participating organizations receive an organizational stipend of $3,500 to support staff involvement in the program.
  • Organizations benefit from increased staff knowledge of research to identify and directly impact community needs and program implementation.
  • Organizations increase their internal research capacity in terms of staff development, as well as connection to academic research environments and resources.
  • Organizations have increased capacity to equitably partner with academic institutions for funding opportunities.
  • Organizations will gain new knowledge of the populations they serve through data, and can implement new or improved best practices backed by research specific to their communities.
What does the PEER Training Program consist of?
  • The program is designed with an instructional phase taught within a framework of culturally competent research. Topics include: partnership dynamics, research methods, study design, basic statistics, question/topic development, literature review, researching best practices, IRB protocol, grant writing, data interpretation and dissemination of results and information to diverse audiences.
  • Fellows will be mentored throughout the program by a faculty member who has similar research interests and by a member of their community organization, which will lay the foundation for continuing community/academic partnerships once the fellow has graduated from the program.
What is the time commitment for the fellow?
  • We anticipate the fellow will dedicate a total of approximately 6-10 hours per month.
  • The program will consist of: bi-monthly classes (3 hour period on the first and third Wednesdays) week days, meetings with their faculty partner, and reading and homework assignments 4 hours/month
For more information, contact:
Suzanne Johnson
Email: sxj301@case.edu
Phone: 216-368-5773
PEER information sheet
 Download a one-page information sheet about the PEER program!
Download a one-page information sheet about the PEER program!