Community Engagement

Community engagement means working collaboratively with people and groups affiliated by geography and special or similar interests to address issues affecting the well-being of those people.

For researchers, community engagement is about building the relationships between and among community members, researchers and the university so we can engage more people as active participants in studies and clinical trials. 

Community engagement goals

Our primary research goal is to engage more participants.

Other community engagement goals include:

  • Building trust
  • Enlisting new resources and allies within the community  
  • Creating better communication between researchers and the community  
  • Improving overall health outcomes as successful projects evolve into lasting collaborations

The CTSA Community Engagement Core engages the community in clinical research, works to create a bidirectional communication system between researchers and community partners, helps to recruit and retain special populations for clinical trials, and works to expand community-based research opportunities at the university.


On this page:

Community Engagement Core

Request a consultation with the Community Engagement Core

Why do we need community engagement?

Community engagement can improve the way studies are carried out, making it easier for community members to participate in research. Literature shows that people are more likely to be receptive to, and reap greater benefits from, research that involves them personally. If health is socially determined, then health issues are best addressed by engaging community partners who can bring their own perspectives and understandings of community life and health issues to a study.

Our core is dedicated to finding the level of community engagement that will work best for individual investigators, their research and the community at large. The Community Engagement Core offers a wide range of services and insights, including:

  • Integration of Community into Research
    • Development of community advisory boards
    • Connecting with community partners
    • Research trainings for community members i.e. CITI Human Subjects
    • Eliciting community feedback on research proposals/projects
  • Project Development
    • Feedback on research design, implementation and dissemination
    • Mentorship on community-based and practice-based research
    • Review of grants, presentations and manuscripts
  • Recruitment Assistance
    • Advisement on recruitment strategies
    • Enrollment and retention trainings
    • Buffalo Research Registry (BRR)
    • Recruitment of special populations

How do we arrange a consultation with the Community Engagement Core?

Consultations with the Community Engagement Core can be requested through the online CTSA request portal.

You also may contact any of the team members directly regarding your research needs. 

Team Member Contact Information Speciality Area(s)
Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD, Core Director

(716) 816-7278

Mentorship, Project Development, Integration of Community into Research, Recruitment Assistance
Megan Crowley, MPA, Community Research Facilitator

(716) 816-7227

Project Development, Integration of Community into Research
Danielle Balling, Community Recruitment Liaison

(716) 816-7298

Recruitment Assistance, Integration of Community into Research

Notes/Additional References

Visit CTSA Community Engagement Core for more information on the services they provide.

* Portions of this section were exerted from Principles of Community Engagement, Second Edition