Community Engaged Research

Fall 2023 (2 units)

This course provides training in the theory and practice of engaging patients, members of the public, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders in health research, intervention design and implementation. The course introduces students to multiple engagement strategies by way of readings, guest speakers, case studies, and online discussions. Course instruction focuses on applying participatory research methods to existing or planned studies and implementation projects, and adapting health interventions to real-world contexts. Students will learn to situate community engagement practices and principles in historical, social and political contexts, and to critically evaluate the ways that engagement strategies shape the production of new knowledge.


The objectives for this course are for participants to:

  • Describe different approaches to engaging patients, the public, and community-based organizations in health research, intervention design and implementation;
  • Critically evaluate the benefits and limitations of different engagement methods in specific contexts;
  • Explain how engagement principles and strategies can influence research design, intervention development, data collection and evaluation activities, and implementation approaches;
  • Identify a range of potential community partners; and
  • Develop and justify a detailed plan for incorporating a community partnership into an existing or proposed research or implementation project.


Designing Clinical Research (EPI 202). Exceptions to this prerequisite may be made with the consent of the Course Director, space permitting.


Course Director:

Sarah Ackerman, PhD, MPH

Associate Professor, Social Behavioral Sciences
email: [email protected]


  Virtual synchronous small group sessions will be scheduled with students. 


Required readings will be posted on the course website.


Evaluation of student performance will be based on successful completion of weekly homework assignments and a final project, as well as participation in an online discussion forum and in-person small group sessions. To pass the course, learners must:

  • Post weekly assignments in the online discussion forums by the designated due date and time in 7 of 8 weeks;
  • Attend and participate in at least 7 of the 8 weekly small group discussions sessions (via Zoom);
  • Provide thoughtful feedback via the online discussion forums to at least two others regarding their weekly assignments by the designated due date and time in 7 of 8 weeks; and
  • Submit a final completed assignment by the designated due date and time at the end of the course.

UCSF Graduate Division Policy on Disabilities

To Enroll

ATCR and MAS students use the Student Portal

All other students can find registration information on the Implementation Science website.