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In 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) All of Us Research Program announced a funding opportunity for community partners to “educate, motivate, and facilitate enrollment” of volunteers. In response to this opportunity, four institutions from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) formed the Precision Medicine Research (PreMeR) Diversity Consortium. This multi-institutional collaboration proposed to employ evidence-based best practices to engage, recruit, and retain diverse populations in the All of Us program. The PreMeR approach was premised on the notion that engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies in community and biomedical research must be viewed as community-engaged public health interventions and utilize the same theoretical principles and approaches. To that end, social influence theories were key in conceptualizing approaches to engaging diverse populations in research, as they helped PreMeR members better understand how people’s beliefs and opinions could be modified to effect change and lead to action (Stokols, 1996). PreMeR adopted the social-ecological model (SEM) for health promotion (Dahlberg & Krug, 2006) from Stokols (1996) and community-based participatory research (CBPR) models (Israel et al., 1998, 2005; Wallerstein & Duran, 2010) to guide proposed engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies. The processes of contextualizing engagement strategies across the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy spheres of influence necessitated the incorporation of multiple methods to reach diverse audiences. This article provides a model for applying a theory-driven approach to research engagement, recruitment, and retention.


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  • Alternative title
    • Diverse Recruitment Using Socio-Ecological Framework

  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 13

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • License
  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Funding: This work was supported in part by Grant G12MD007592, U54MD00814910S2, Grant UL1TR000101 previously UL1RR031975 and 2G1 2007596 from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities, 5 P30 DK092986 from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and 3 U54 CA153708 from the National Cancer Institute components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and 6 NU58DP005922 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH and CDC.