Community Engagement

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The Community Engagement Division of UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) makes available various resources, each targeting a different audience.

For the Public

Community Engagement can assist members of the public who want to:

  • find clinical trials that are seeking volunteers
  • keep up with health research events, read a sampling of new research findings, or donate their money or ideas to ACTRI
  • better understand clinical research
  • learn how to determine if a research study is good for them
What is ResearchMatch? What is ResearchMatch?

It is a registry of volunteers willing to learn more about research studies. Research needs both volunteers and researchers. ResearchMatch helps bring these two groups together in a secure convenient way.

Did you know?For Community-Based Organizations

The ACTRI Community Engagement Division partners with community-based organizations in various ways so that each partnership benefits the agencies, their clientele, and ACTRI investigators. Benefits of the partnership may include:

  • Community-based agencies influence the design, and sometimes even the purpose, of clinical research, so that it serves some of their needs or those of their clients.
  • Community-based agencies bring the newest health-related innovations to their clientele,
  • Community-based agencies can help to reduce health disparities by bringing research opportunities to clientele who have traditionally been under-represented in research.
  • Some clinical trials offer free clinical services and medications to people without many choices in health care access.
  • Training Course for Health Workers on Basics of Research: This workshop series introduces Community Health Workers (CHWs) to basic concepts in research involving human subjects, and prepares the CHWs to act as recruiters and/or interventionists. Click here for access to the workshop.

For Investigators

Investigators should contact Community Engagement for consultation on their research studies. Consultation is designed to:

  • Guide investigators on how to enhance recruitment or retention
  • Explore methodologies that help retain subjects
  • Address health equity and health disparities in research design
  • Introduce investigators or their research staff to a key community agency for their project (e.g., community clinics, health fairs, veterans' associations, and disease-specific organizations like the American Lung Association)
  • Increase the chance that any knowledge, diagnostic, preventative, or therapeutic resulting from research will reach the community for which it was designed
  • Courses are also available.
Participant Recruitment Center
The ACTRI has created the Participant Recruitment Center to enhance participant recruitment for clinical trials by bringing together existing services and novel informatics platforms that consider participant preferences. This center is a collaboration of the ACTRI Community Engagement and Biomedical Informatics units.

For Trainees and Students

Community Engagement often has interesting volunteer positions for undergraduates with different majors (e.g., pre-med and pre-dental, art, urban studies, business, psychology), for pharmacy and medical students, as well as residents, fellows, and trainees at other levels. The nature of the position varies with the level and interest of the trainee, but many are related to research assistance. We also offer consultation and courses in Community Engagement.

For Community-Based Clinicians

Community Engagement can assist physicians, nurses, therapists, and other clinicians and their administrators who are interested in:

  • conducting research in their own practices
  • learning about research studies that may benefit their patients
  • reporting something they think should capture the interest and attention of a ACTRI researcher
Dr. Taras

Howard Taras, MD
Director of ACTRI Community Engagement
Phone: (858) 822-0620

Dr. Broyles

Shelia Broyles, PhD
CE Liaison
Phone: (858) 822-4117

Gregory Aarons, PhD

Gregory Aarons, PhD
Special Advisor
Dissemination and Implementation Science

Beverly Carlson, PhD, RN

Beverly Carlson, PhD, RN
Special Advisor
Research in Rural Communities

Beverly Carlson, PhD, RN

Corinne McDaniels-Davidson, PhD, MPH, CHES
SDSU Advisor
Campus-Community Linkages

R. Jaeger

Rodney von Jaeger, MPH
CE Manager
Phone: (858) 822-0734

K. Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy, MA 
CE Administrative Assistant
Phone: (858) 822-0268

Beverly Carlson, PhD, RN

Tanya Penn, MPH, CPH
Special Advisor, HealthDAT