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Community Voices Program

The Community Voices Program: Empowering Communities Through Collaborative Research

Community Voices is a program within the Community-Academic Connections Program in which community members can submit their project ideas and be matched with an academic researcher with the same interests to move the project forward. There are no fees to participate in Community Voices.

Community Voices is a program where community organizations (social service organizations, faith-based organizations, schools, community health centers, etc.) can request expertise from academic researchers to collaborate on the community’s health priorities.

Community Voices reviews requests from community organizations and then matches them with academic researchers, interested in similar health priorities, to collaborate together on a community-driven project. The Community Voices program operates across five states: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho, and it is managed by the University of Washington’s ITHS Community Engagement Program.

Community organizations can:

  • Share a health-related project idea online to be matched with researchers of mutual interests.
  • Learn how to collaborate with researchers.
  • Receive ongoing technical support when projects are matched through the Community Voices Program.

Types of Projects:

Community Voices can help with many projects. Some examples include:

  • Conducting a Program Evaluation
  • Designing Interview Guides
  • Developing Community Surveys
  • Performing a Community Need Assessments
  • Completing an Environmental Scan

How Community Voices Works:

Step 1: Submit Your Project Idea
We ask all community members to complete an online intake form. The intake form gives the coordinating center the capability to determine if a project is within scope and is feasible to support.

Step 2: Match with an Expert
The Community Voices Coordinating Center will search for a researcher who has interests and experience in line with the proposed project.

Step 3: Work Together
The Community Voices Coordinating Center will set up an introductory meeting between the community organization and the academic researcher to develop a plan (e.g., scope of the project, timeline, and communications).

Step 4: Receive Ongoing Support
Regular meetings will be set up between the community organizations, academic investigators, and the Coordinating Center throughout the project to ensure the project is on track and addresses any challenges along the way. A project is expected to be completed within a one-year timeline.


Q: How much does Community Voices cost?
A: Community Voices is a free program.

Q: How long can proposed projects be?
A: Usually one year. Shorter and longer project timelines will also be considered.

Q: Do projects have to be a year?
A: No. We welcome projects with shorter timelines.

Q: Do we need prior research or data experience to participate?
A: No. All levels of experience are welcome.

Q: Can multiple organizations collaborate on a single project?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there a deadline for submitting project ideas?
A: No. All project ideas can be submitted on a rolling basis.

Q: Do all project ideas get approved for support?
A: Unfortunately, no. Although we would like to accept every project idea, some projects are too big or we cannot identify a researcher.

Q: Who owns the data and findings from a project?
A: The community-based organization owns the data and findings.