Community-Academic Research Partnerships

Community-Academic Partnerships

The Community-Academic Partnerships (CAP) core is organized as a federation; 41 UW and Marshfield programs and centers currently participate. CAP mobilizes resources across UW and Marshfield by:

  • Centralizing and organizing access for investigators and communities to diverse community- and practice-based research networks and an array of research and training resources.
  • Creating new community- and practice-based research networks where there is a strong interest from community partners, a critical mass of investigators, and opportunities for grant funding.
  • Creating or adapting research and training resources targeting gaps in methodological and content expertise identified by communities and investigators.
  • Implementing incentives (primarily via pilot funding) for community-partnered research, for investigator/community use of research resources, for senior investigators to mentor new investigators, and for collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

Learn more about all things CAP below…

Collaborative Center for Health Equity

The work of the Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) is to promote social justice in health in Wisconsin and beyond through health equity research, culturally aware investigator training and mentorship, and collaboration with underserved groups.

CCHE provides:

Learn more about CCHE here…

ICTR-CAP Core Resources

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Dissemination & Implementation Launchpad

The Dissemination & Implementation (D&I) Launchpad supports investigators interested in the research of effectively disseminating, implementing, adapting, and scaling-up evidence-based findings. It also supports researchers and their communities of interest in the process of disseminating and implementing research findings. Consultation services include: Advising on all aspects of D&I Research, including designing for dissemination; Communications, including dissemination plans, translation and packaging of findings, and multi-media communication; Product development, including assessing market demand, feasibility and customer value. Educational resources include short courses, presentations, web-based resources, and educational forums. Please complete a D&I Launchpad Consult Request, and our team will contact you.

Stakeholder and Patient Engagement Research Resources

Several CAP Programs & Affiliates provide research resources to pilot applicants engaging patient and other stakeholders in their research.  Detailed information on the resources these CAP programs provide for stakeholder engagement in translational research is  available on our Stakeholder Engagement Resources page.

For help determining which ICTR stakeholder engagement program is the best fit, please contact

Pilot Grant Award Programs

ICTR offers annual pilot grant funding to support community-engaged health research focused on clinical and community outcomes, health equity, stakeholder and patient engaged research, and dissemination and implementation research. ICTR pilot awards are intended to support an academic research career trajectory. Principle Investigators (PIs) must be either UW-Madison or Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI) faculty or scientists. For information, please visit the Funding Opportunities page.

CAP Education and Training

CAP Education and Training programs include the graduate level Certificate in Clinical and Community Outcomes Research targeting early-career investigators with a focus on skills for community-engaged research. Programs also include free, non-credit trainings targeting PIs, research staff, scholars, and community audiences. For more information, contact Deidre Vincevineus at

Videos of workshops, short courses and other trainings are free and available on the ICTR Education and Training tab. Content addresses skills such working with communities; qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research; managing a research project; grant writing; and evaluating community-based programs. For more information, please contact Kat Phelps, or Barb King,

Health Services, Population Health & Dissemination Research Programs

ICTR-CAP mobilizes programs across campus to support impactful community-partnered health research focused on health services, population health and dissemination/implementation research. See brief descriptions of ICTR-CAP partner programs below.

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Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE)

The Center for Aging Research and Education (CARE) is an initiative of the UW-Madison School of Nursing. CARE’s mission is to support discoveries that improve aging, and to build the skills and capacity of those who care for older adults. CARE engages students, clinical and research faculty, nurses, direct care staff, family caregivers, and community partners, through initiatives in education, research, and practice.

For more information, please email or call (608) 265-4330.

Center for Community Engagement and Health Partnerships (CCEAHP)

The UW School of Medicine and Public Health Center for Community Engagement and Health Partnerships (CCEAHP) in Milwaukee connects underrepresented communities and investigators with an interest in working with underserved populations together in innovative ways. CCEAHP helps investigators build reciprocal relationships with the community that lead to culturally appropriate research and community engagement projects. For more information, please contact Gina Green-Harris, MBA,

Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP)

The Center for Patient Partnerships (CPP) is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin Schools of Law, Medicine & Public Health, Nursing, and Pharmacy. CPP’s mission is to engender effective partnerships among people seeking health care, people providing health care, and people making policies that guide the health care system. CPP accomplishes this through education, advocacy, research & policy.

For more information, please e-mail

This program provides stakeholder and patient engaged research resources to pilot applicants.  Learn more about the CPP stakeholder engagement resources for research teams here.

Center for Urban Population Health (CUPH)

The Center for Urban Population Health (CUPH) located in Milwaukee is a partnership of Aurora Health Care/Aurora Research Institute, LLC, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The CUPH mission is advancing population health research and education to improve the health of urban communities. The CUPH vision is to be a destination where researchers can lead innovative, community-connected population health research and education. We connect faculty, investigators, and staff from our three core partners to each other and to community partners in the greater Milwaukee area. We also provide other resources such as biostatistical support, connection to community grant writers, Health Compass Milwaukee (local health indicator data), research staff time, and Team Science events. For more information, please contact David Frazer, MPH, at

Covering Wisconsin (CWI)

Covering Wisconsin (CWI) engages with diverse communities statewide on access to health coverage, health care, and health-supportive programs. CWI also collaborates on research and evaluation and is a conduit to consumers, community-serving organizations, and other health related agencies. Check out our library of plain language materials co-designed with consumers to be accessible and actionable. For more information, please contact program director Allison Espeseth, MS,

Health Experiences Research Network (HERN)

The Health Experiences Research Network (HERN) is a partnership between UW-Madison, Oregon Health & Science University, Johns Hopkins University and Yale University, and part of an international movement to rigorously collect narratives about people’s diverse experiences with health and health care. These stories are then analyzed for both themes and variation, and video/audio clips from the interviews — along with explanatory text — are embedded on a public web site for use by multiple audiences including clinicians and researchers. The HERN group at UW produced HERN’s first published module. See to learn more, and visit the modules: Depression in Young Adults, Cancer Risk That Runs In Families, and Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans. For more information, please contact Rachel Grob, PhD,

Health Innovation Program (HIP)

The Health Innovation Program (HIP) supports health services research projects in collaboration with local and statewide health systems. This includes research on the quality and cost of health care and research to examine the impact of improvement interventions over time. Extensive resources are available that support the use of electronic health records and Medicare or other health care claims data for research purposes.

For more information, please e-mail

Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP)

Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) is a nonpartisan research institution dedicated to producing and disseminating rigorous evidence to inform policies and programs to combat poverty, inequality, and their effects in the United States. We do this through the orchestration of a national research, training, and dissemination agenda (see our resources and events pages) grounded in extensive collaboration among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.

For more information, please contact Hilary Shager, PhD,

Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI)

The community research core at Marshfield Clinic Research Institute (MCRI) includes the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health, and the National Farm Medicine Center. MCRI can support population-based research with an emphasis on rural areas via several population cohorts, consultation on navigating the rural research landscape, and connections with communities in rural Wisconsin. Additional resources include facilitated access to clinical data from several population cohorts, including the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area (MESA), the Health Care Systems Research Network Virtual Data Warehouse, and others. Additional MCRI centers include the Center for Oral and Systemic Health, the Center for Precision Medicine Research, the Clinical Research Center, and the Cancer Care and Research Center. For more information, please contact Bob Greenlee, PhD, MPH,

Morgridge Center for Public Service

The Morgridge Center for Public Service connects campus and community through service, community-based learning and community-based research, and offers resources for community-engaged scholars including connections and professional development, research grants, fellowships, and opportunities to join in stewardship of the UW-Madison Civic Action Plan, which was co-created with community partners to identify ways to better support and encourage new forms of conducting community engagement.

For more information, please contact Haley Madden at

Neighborhood Health Partnerships (NHP)

The ICTR Neighborhood Health Partnerships Program (NHP) provides local and timely data on health along with action tools to support data use and intervention development to advance health and health equity in Wisconsin. Through our navigators, these data resources provide researchers and community programs with baseline measures of health in Wisconsin communities. 27 measures of local health are available for selected geographic areas in Wisconsin, including vaccinations, cancer screenings, BMI, diabetes care and more. For more information, please contact

Office of Community Health (OCH)

The Office of Community Health (OCH) promotes and enhances community health-related efforts in education, research and clinical services within the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH). DFMCH provides primary care at 20 statewide family medicine clinics and has training programs for medical students, physician assistant students and family medicine residents. The department includes more than 150 academic and community faculty who care for patients, educate learners and conduct community-engaged research and outreach activities. OCH facilitates and designs community health programs to benefit key constituencies including communities, patients, learners, academic partners and health system partners.

For more information, contact Jennifer Edgoose, MD, MPH,

Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids)

Program of Research on Outcomes for Kids (PROKids) is a child health services research program within the UW Department of Pediatrics. PROKids focuses on research and quality improvement efforts to optimize the health of children in the community, including access to care, quality and safety of care, and outcomes from care. A central theme in all PROKids activities is the engagement of stakeholders such as children, teens, parents, multidisciplinary healthcare providers, child health advocates, payers, and healthcare leadership in designing, delivering, and evaluating interventions to improve children’s well-being.

For more information, please contact

This program provides stakeholder and patient engaged research resources to pilot applicants.  Learn more about the PROKids stakeholder engagement resources for research teams here.

Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Resource

ICTR-CAP Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Resource can offer support to investigators whose research design incorporates qualitative or mixed methods.

For more information, please contact Nora Jacobson, PhD,

Sonderegger Research Center for Improved Medication Outcomes (SRC)

The School of Pharmacy-based Sonderegger Research Center for Improved Medication Outcomes (SRC) supports the organization, delivery, financing, quality, and outcomes of pharmacy within the broader health care system as well as the patient-provider interaction (including access to videotaping capacity and support).

For more information, please contact Michelle Chui, PharmD, PhD,

This program provides stakeholder and patient engaged research resources to pilot applicants. Learn more about the SRC stakeholder engagement resources for research teams here.

Survey of the Health of Wisconsin

With survey and biological sample data available on more than 5,000 state residents, SHOW provides numerous opportunities to advance population-health and health equity research. Collecting representative data since 2008, SHOW is a health research infrastructure that offers:

  • Observational and longitudinal data for cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies of the broad social determinants of health and disease
  • Population-based controls for the study of rare diseases in Wisconsin patient populations
  • Biological samples including plasma, serum, DNA, urine, and stool
  • Translation of basic science research to human population research
  • Dissemination and Implementation research platform using existing and past SHOW participants

To learn about current projects, check out our website here.

For more information, please contact

UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) Population Sciences

The UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) Population Sciences and Community Engagement programs conduct research on effective and equitable approaches to reduce the burden of cancer. They also bridge the relationship between researchers at the cancer center and Wisconsin communities through outreach efforts, dissemination of evidence-based interventions and data sharing. For more information, please contact Allison Dahlke, MPH,

Population Sciences & Community Engagement programs include:

UW Department of Medicine Health Services and Care Research (HSCR) Program

The UW Department of Medicine Health Services and Care Research (HSCR) Program seeks to improve the health and quality of life of patients and caregivers within Wisconsin and beyond through high-impact services researchers to promote continued growth and success. The HSCR Program houses an array of resources required for the conduct of health services and models of care research. These include national-level data sources of health systems, socioeconomic and geospatial metrics, a state-of-the-art high capacity secure computing environment, and expert consultation on all aspects of research conduct and dissemination in these fields. Areas of research focus reflect critically important topics in the field, including health aging and Alzheimer’s Disease, pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular disease, health disparities, and others. One of the resources developed by HSCR faculty and staff, the Neighborhood Atlas, hosts an accessible, online, interactive map of more than 70 million zip codes linked to socioeconomic data at the neighborhood level, which helps to quantify the degree of disadvantage in a given area, a factor viewed as critical to assessing health disparities and effective interventions. The Neighborhood Atlas is available as a tool to advance disparities-focused research, informing study design, recruitment and retention of participants, and analysis and dissemination of results for translational, clinical, and community-based research. Data are available for download at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health’s Neighborhood Atlas website.

For more information, please contact

UW Division of Extension (Extension)

Extension seeks to address the changing needs of the state and society by conducting, applying, and conveying relevant university research, integrating a scholarly approach to outreach across many academic disciplines, and addressing the specific educational needs of under-served, disadvantaged and non-traditional learners. With an office in every Wisconsin county, partnerships with tribal governments, and other public and private organizations, Extension is uniquely positioned to engage communities in research and has a strong infrastructure for dissemination and implementation of evidence-based research. As a community partner, Extension brings key expertise around identifying, convening, and liaising with stakeholders and community partners, providing skilled facilitation, and developing and implementing effective dissemination and outreach plans for evidence-based and research informed practice. Extension’s six program institutes provide rich opportunities for interdisciplinary approaches to community health promotion and include: Health & Well-Being, Positive Youth Development, Human Development & Relationships, Community Development, and Agriculture and Natural Resources. For more information and to explore collaborative opportunities, please contact Kristin Litzelman, PhD,

UW Population Health Institute Programs

  • County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) offers actionable data, evidence, guidance, and stories that inspire and support community health improvement efforts. The annual County Health Rankings are based on a model of population health that emphasizes the many social, economic, physical, clinical, and other factors that influence both how long and how well we live. CHR&R helps communities identify the challenges and opportunities for improving health for all and provides evidence-informed strategies that are shown to work in real life. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation collaborates with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to bring this program to communities across the nation. For more information, please contact Sheri Johnson, PhD,, or Marjory Givens, PhD,
  • Evaluation Research Group at UW Population Health Institute
    The Evaluation Research Group at the UW Population Health Institute is a team of 30+ professional evaluators and 10-20 student trainees. We partner with community, tribal, county, and state governmental agencies to develop, implement, and evaluate local and state programs in public health and human services. We also collaborate with national researchers, practitioners, and faculty and staff within the University of Wisconsin on evaluation research projects. Our evaluators can advise on and implement a broad range of applied research methods, from qualitative and descriptive techniques to complex experimental and quasi-experimental trials. We also engage in rigorous intervention research design and evaluation. Our portfolio of evaluation projects reflects the full range of systems and health factors that contribute to population health and well-being. Learn more about our current projects and evaluation services here. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact Sara Lindberg, PhD,
  • Health Policy Resources at UW Population Health Institute
    The UW Population Health Institute offers consultation on strategies to increase the policy relevance of research and facilitates connections between policy makers and UW researchers. For more information, please contact Sheri Johnson, PhD,, or Kara Pagano,
  • Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) at UW Population Health Institute
    The Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) Group focuses on advancing health equity by partnering with organizations statewide to deliver training and technical assistance, engage in community-based research and translating data into local action, and convening partners to align around shared health equity priorities. This work includes assessing population health and working with communities to help them identify opportunities for improving community health and equity, engage and build partnerships with communities most impacted by inequity, and find and implement evidence-based programs and policies to address these issues. Key partners include, but are not limited to, local and state governmental public health, leaders that promote the public’s health and community well-being, health and social determinants of health coalitions and coalition members, community-engaged and applied researchers, and learners and trainees. For more information, please contact Sweta Shrestha at

UW Prevention Research Center (UWPRC)

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Prevention Research Center (UWPRC) is the only campus center focused on the conduct of prevention research. The UWPRC supports prevention research by working with investigators to integrated robust dissemination and implementation methods in research design from the start, support multilevel community engagement in research, and expand prevention research training of practitioners, community members and students from public health, medicine, nursing and other disciplines. Major support for this center comes from a new 5-year grant from the CDC to become one of a network of 25 Prevention Research Centers (PRCNetwork) across the country.

The UWPRC also provides access to prevention research funding through an internal pilot grant program and by working with campus investigators to respond to Special Interest Projects (SIPs) – applied prevention research projects sponsored by CDC, HHS, and other federal agencies.

For more information, contact

University of Wisconsin Survey Center (UWSC)

The University of Wisconsin Survey Center (UWSC) offers comprehensive data collection services. The UWSC offers specialized expertise for health researchers, including guidance on the overall design and administration of a study; collection of data in all modes (in-person, phone, web, and mail); the conduct and analysis of qualitative interviews (cognitive interviews, key informant interviews) and focus groups; and the development, review, and testing of questions (scale development, behavioral frequency measures, vignettes) and questionnaires. The UWSC also offers services to collect biomeasures, such as genetic measures, biological samples (e.g., saliva, feces), anthropometric measures (e.g., height/weight, hip circumference), and evaluations of physical performance (e.g., peak flow, grip strength).

For more information, please contact John Stevenson at

William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Research Program

The William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Research Program supports research and quality improvement initiatives dedicated to the health and care needs of Veterans, including age-related conditions, mental health, healthcare-associated infection prevention, chronic disease, transitions of care, women’s health, deployment-related exposures, and health equity and access.  Madison VA is also home to the new VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry – using human factors and systems engineering approaches to implementing evidence-based interventions.  Quality improvement is the focus of the newly-funded VA healthcare-associated infection prevention network – a practice-based network that includes VA patients as active participants. For more information, please contact Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD,

This program provides stakeholder and patient engaged research resources to pilot applicants.  Learn more about the VA stakeholder engagement resources for research teams here.

Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) System

The Wisconsin AHEC System works to improve the supply, distribution, and quality of health care professionals in Wisconsin. With seven regional Centers, AHEC offers decentralized training for health professionals and linkages between communities and academic health centers to promote cooperative solutions to local health problems. Among other things, WI AHEC supports community-based training sites in under-served communities, and cultural competence training for health professionals. See more about program areas here.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Bush, MS, MA,

Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE)

Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE) supports patient safety research that integrates human factors engineering (design, development and deployment of systems), healthcare systems and health information technology.

For more information, please contact Gabriel Zayas-Caban, PhD,

Wisconsin Network for Research Support (WiNRS)

The Wisconsin Network for Research Support (WiNRS) is a patient and community engagement resource. WINRS provides a suite of consultation services that address a persistent problem for researchers–how to effectively engage participants, especially people from under-represented communities or “hard to reach” populations. Services include: development of tailored training programs for community or patient stakeholders; Best practices to sustain lay stakeholder engagement; Review of consumer-facing materials; and Advice on strategies for successful recruitment and retention of study/program participants. WINRS staff also coordinate meetings with CARDS (Community Advisors on Research Design and Strategies)® , focus groups of Madison community members from diverse racial, socioeconomic, and educational backgrounds who are trained to give feedback to investigators on recruitment plans and materials, consent forms, survey or interview questions, etc.

For more information, please contact Kat Phelps, PhD, at

This program provides stakeholder and patient engaged research resources to pilot applicants. Learn more about the WiNRS stakeholder engagement resources for research teams here.

Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR)

The Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research Program (WiSOR) strives to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of surgical care through research and innovation. WiSOR provides an intellectual home for surgical outcomes research, while providing support and resources to facilitate and expedite research. WiSOR is also committed to career development and training for the next generation of researchers pursuing health services research in the field of surgery.

For more information, please contact

Practice Based Research Networks

Practice-based research networks (PBRNs) facilitate research partnerships with health providers and community organizations in a variety of settings. ICTR-CAP PBRNs offer research access to statewide aging units, community pharmacies, public health departments, health systems and primary care clinics.

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Community-Academic Aging Research Network (CAARN) - Aging Units

Community-Academic Aging Research Network (CAARN) aims to augment the capacity and effectiveness of both Wisconsin’s aging services network and the UW to conduct clinical and dissemination research related to aging.

For more information, please contact Jane Mahoney, MD,

Pharmacy Practice Enhancement and Action Research Link (PEARL Rx) - Pharmacies

Pharmacy Practice Enhancement and Action Research Link (PEARL Rx) is a statewide research network of over 60 community, clinic and hospital pharmacists with the goal of building capacity for practice-based research initiatives in response to opportunities that can enhance and advance pharmacy practice in the state.

For more information, please contact Michelle Chui, PharmD, PhD,

Wisconsin Public Health Research Network (WPHRN) – Public Health Departments

Wisconsin Public Health Research Network (WPHRN) is a group of health department leaders and researchers who have organized to support and advance public health systems and services research driven by the needs and interests of health departments in Wisconsin and beyond.

For more information, please contact Susan Zahner, DrPH,

Wisconsin Network for Health Research (WiNHR) – Health Systems

Wisconsin Network for Health Research (WiNHR) supports a statewide clinical and translational infrastructure and offers opportunities for collaborative research between institutions and communities around the state. The four founding members of WiNHR are the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, Aurora Health Care, Gundersen Health System and the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.

Nasia Safdar, MD, PhD, is the Faculty Director of WiNHR. For more information, please contact

Wisconsin Research & Education Network (WREN) – Primary Care

Wisconsin Research & Education Network (WREN) is a statewide primary care, practice-based research network. Researchers may collaborate with WREN when their research involves partnerships with multi-site primary care clinicians, practices, and the communities they serve; quality improvement/enhancement; and underserved populations.

Sarina Schrager, MD, is the Medical Director of WREN. For more information, please email

Current Programs & Affiliates

ICTR-CAP programs and affiliate programs (printable PDF) are potential partners for faculty and community stakeholders applying for many different types of funding opportunities.

Note To Investigators applying for ICTR funding: To meet the criteria of “Collaborating with an ICTR-CAP program or affiliate program,” you must involve one of the CAP programs in the design, implementation and/or evaluation stages of the proposed research. If you would like assistance connecting with one of these programs, please complete an ICTR CAP Consult Request.

Because the ICTR-CAP award programs place such a strong emphasis on collaboration, the distinction between a collaborator and a consultant is important. Note: ICTR-CAP programs/affiliates may be limited to offering consultation-only, depending on other time and resources demands.

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Collaboration occurs when an investigator works together with her/his collaborators in a joint intellectual effort. Examples of collaboration include: joint development of the research question, oversight of tool development and implementation, joint analysis of research data, etc.


Consultation occurs when an investigator meets with an individual or individuals during which time advice is given or views are exchanged, but the consultant is not an active participant in the research project.