Our Projects

What is Community-Academic Research?

Community-academic research is a general term used to describe the different approaches that fall along a continuum. Community-engaged research is an approach that fosters meaningful community involvement and engages all partners equitably in the research process.

Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a form of community-engaged research, where community members and academics are viewed as equal partners in each step of the research process, from the inception of an idea to dissemination. CBPR is the preferred approach, as it best empowers communities by placing their voice at the forefront of scientific inquiry and allows for the sharing of resources. The Center for Healthy Communities’ projects may fall anywhere along this continuum.


STOP COVID-19 in the Black Community

Black man speaking into a megaphone

The Share, Trust, Organize, Partner COVID-19 California Alliance (STOP COVID-19 CA) is a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) funded project.

The UCR STOP COVID-19 CA research teams focus on COVID-19 awareness and education research among African Americans, Latinx/Indigenous Latin Americans, and Indigenous/Native Americans - populations that account for over half of all reported COVID-19 cases in the United States.

freeway traffic

Community Air Quality Project

The Engagement Resource Collaborative (ERC) has launched the Community Air Quality Project, an initiative to improve the air quality in Riverside, California. This effort will tie together the breadth of UCR expertise from the School of Medicine, the College of Engineering, and community partners to assist faculty and community groups in understanding and developing sustainable solutions to our region’s pressing challenges.

Speaker at podium

HIV & Aging Research Project - Palm Springs

The HIV & Aging Research Project - Palm Springs is intended to build the foundational relationships and capacity of stakeholders to advance research on HIV and aging. The principal investigator is Brandon Brown, Ph.D., M.P.H. and the program is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Gathering of Good Minds

A Gathering of Good Minds (Part II)

The Gathering of Good Minds project is a collaboration with Riverside/San Bernardino Indian Health, which works toward addressing patient well-being and chronic health concerns by building trust and long lasting partnerships with American Indians living in Riverside and San Bernardino. The second phase of our project will develop a historical trauma training curriculum for providers so that they better understand the governmental and local histories that negatively affect the health of American Indians.  The principal investigator is Juliet McMullin, Ph.D. and the project is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Art by cancer patients

A Pilot Study to Test the Feasibility of Comic Art Creation for Symptom Management in Cancer Supportive Care

This pilot study explores the feasibility and the potential therapeutic value of creating comics for cancer patients. Participants attend weekly workshops where they create a series of comics based on their experiences living with cancer. The principal investigator is Juliet McMullin, Ph.D. and the study is funded by the City of Hope.

Migrant farm workers in field

USMex (United States-Mexico) Unidos por Salud

The goal of USMex (United States-Mexico) Unidos por Salud is to develop bi-national partnerships between investigators, healthcare service providers, and policy makers in Mexico and the US to address barriers to healthcare service use for Mexican migrants in rural communities of the United States.

Photovoice exhibit

Voicing Collegiate Recovery

Young adults in recovery from alcohol and other drugproblems face challenges in maintaining sobriety, especially those in the abstinence-hostile environments of college campus. The Voicing Collegiate Recovery project aims to increase the capacity of faculty, staff, students, and university administrators to collaborate in research so that we can effectively addresses students’ recovery needs and improve health outcomes among higher education students in recovery.

Family chatting about mental health

Engaging Pacific Islander Perspectives on Mental Illness and Mental Health Services

Mental illness has rarely been scientifically studied in Pacific Islanders who are at increased risk for mental illness and are hard to engage in mental health services. As a result, providers and public mental health systems have struggled to connect with and provide quality care to this underserved racial population. This collaborative community-academic study will use multiple research methods (i.e., community surveys, focus groups, and citizens’ panels) to: (1) investigate mental illness from Pacific Islander community members’ perspectives, and (2) involve Pacific Islander community members in identifying effective, culturally responsive approaches for engaging Pacific Islanders in mental health services. The principal investigator is Andrew Subica, Ph.D.

Past Projects

  • A Gathering of Good Minds: Engaging Native Americans in Wellness (Part I)
  • Navigating Pacific Hearts
  • Latino Health Riverside (La Salud de los Latinos en Riverside)