Guiding Principles

Committed to community and University collaboration, mutual respect, and shared benefit

Community Engagement Model

The Community Engagement Model to the right illustrates our guiding principles and how we envision working with our partners. Please note that this image is not to be used or replicated without consent from its authors.

Principles for Design and Collaboration

Over the course of many months, collaborators of the South Side Health & Vitality Studies defined two key sets of priorities that inform and shape every decision of the Studies.

(1) The design principles guide the methods the Studies will use to collect data and conduct research.

(2) The principles for collaboration focus on how to engage and maintain a multitude of partners in thoughtful and meaningful ways.

Principles for design

  • Focus on understanding the social and environmental determinants of health and vitality
  • Employ a life-course approach to understanding health and vitality, collecting data across the age span
  • Use minimally-invasive techniques for biological and other data collection
  • Collect data that are comparable with existing national, regional, and local datasets
  • Gather and share data with efficiency and transparency
  • Focus on modifiable problems for which the research can inform testable interventions and policy changes
  • Build-in potential for replicability in other communities, including international settings

Principles for Collaboration

  • Involve diverse community members in key decisions throughout the project
  • Build mutual respect and trust between the researchers and community members
  • Address issues that are most important to the health and vitality of the community across socio-economic boundaries
  • Maximize participation of and leadership by people living in our target communities on the South Side
  • Collect data that can quickly benefit community organizations by providing data and enhancing skills
  • Jointly learn and discover – together and from each other – the value of research for improving and sustaining health and vitality
  • Engage a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from across the institution
  • Create learning opportunities by involving students, trainees, and community members
  • Enhance sustainability of the Studies by focusing on the strengths of the research team and by developing external funding