Community Engagement Studio

Request a Community Engagement Studio

Call: 612-625-CTSI (2874) 

Receive input on your specific research project from patients, community members, and other stakeholders.  

A Community Engagement (CE) Studio is a structured guidance session that enables community experts to provide feedback on a particular health research topic.

This gives Minnesotans a meaningful way to contribute to research, while arming investigators with powerful insights that can inform their study.

How CE Studio sessions work

"We were impressed by the enthusiasm and willingness of our community experts to share their insights, and their perspectives provided unexpected information that changed and enriched our research plans.”

— Stephanie Misono, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Each Community Engagement Studio session assembles a customized panel of community experts who share their perspectives on a research topic.

Potential topics:

  • Shaping a research question or proposal.
  • Enhancing study design, implementation, or dissemination.
  • Addressing potential barriers or challenges, such as recruitment or retention.
  • Improving the cultural and linguistic appropriateness of research documents (e.g., recruitment materials, consent documents, or surveys).

Sessions include a brief presentation from the researcher and a discussion with community experts led by a trained facilitator.

CTSI’s CE Studio team assembles community experts—such as patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and other members of the public—that fit the characteristics defined by the researcher. For example, experts may have experiences with a specific health condition or knowledge of a particular community.

“As a result of the studio, I revised data collection methods for the study, and added more culturally relevant questions for participant focus groups.

— Tetyana Shippee, PhD, School of Public Health, MD

Process and time commitment

Community Engagement Studio sessions offer a simple, efficient way to gain patient or community input:

  • Researchers request a CE Studio by emailing or by completing the REDCap application at
  • A planning meeting is held with CTSI’s CE Studio team.
  • A CE Studio session is held, which includes a brief presentation by the researcher and a facilitator-led discussion that engages the community experts. Sessions last no more than two hours, and are held at a time and location convenient to the community experts.
  • A summary with notes and comments is shared with the researcher.

There is no cost to the researcher to hold a Community Engagement Studio, and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is not needed.

Background information and resources

The Community Engagement (CE) Studio model was developed by Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Read about CE Studios at Vanderbilt.

Request a Community Engagement Studio