The South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Center for Community Health Partnerships (SCTR/CCHP) exists to lead an innovative, system-wide effort to strengthen capacity for collaborative research relationships among academic investigators and community members, community-based clinicians, and local health care organizations.


The South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Center for Community Health Partnerships represents researchers, clinicians, educators, and community partners whose mission is to engage community members and academic partners in research and initiatives that promote health, reduce the risk of illness and disease, and build community resilience to help transform health care and eliminate health disparities.


SCTR/CCHP’s vision is to transform health care and eliminate health disparities by engaging community-academic partnerships in South Carolina and beyond.


The goal of SCTR/CCHP is to promote the translation, implementation, diffusion, and adoption of evidence-based interventions and treatments in clinical and community settings, designed to improve the health of diverse populations. Under the new definition of translational research, which is depicted on a scale of T1-T4, SCTR/CCHP research efforts and activities focus on T3 and T4, which indicate the two levels of community in community engagement in research. T3 research attempts to move evidence-based guidelines into community health practices such as Practice Based Research Networks, Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers, and Community Clinics, through delivery, dissemination, and diffusion research.  T4 research seeks to move scientific knowledge into the public sector and thereby changing people’s everyday lives where they live, learn, work, pray and play


Our aims are to:

-LEARN from our community and academic partners:

We aim to facilitate bi-directional communication and information exchange between academic investigators, local/regional/state community stakeholders, and national audiences for the purpose of disseminating research opportunities and findings by listening, fostering reciprocal dialogue, and showing mutual respect

people, information, resources, and networks:

We aim to facilitate the development of a community based “Network of Networks” to lead innovations, discoveries, and translation of evidence into community settings

-LEVERAGE capacity for community-university partnerships to conduct community-engaged research:

We aim to leverage capacity for academic-community partners to conduct community-based participatory research (CBPR), translational research, comparative effectiveness research, and implementation science, (and related other methodologies) to improve health in and with the community

best practices for engaging community participation in research:

We aim to implement community-based recruitment and retention strategies to increase participation in research studies.

Guiding Principles

Community Engagement Principles guide our operations:

  • -Mutual benefit & beneficence: Increased knowledge improves the health of the community and benefits both the community and MUSC researchers. Knowledge and action is integrated for mutual benefit of all partners.

  • -Mutual respect and commitment: Researchers and community members work together with humility, transparency, and mutual respect for expertise and cultural differences and commit to the partnership, its products, and long-term sustainability.

  • -Justice: A co-learning and empowering process is promoted that attends to social inequalities.

  • -Promotes capacity building: Co-learning and capacity building is facilitated among all partners

  • -Collaborative and equitable: Collaborative partnership and equitable engagement of all partners is facilitated in all key phases of the research including:

    -Identification of target population

    -Research objectives

    -Project organization

    -Interpretation of data

    community as a unit of identity

    -Process Oriented: All work is conducted in a cyclical and iterative process.

    -Asset oriented approach:
    We aim to build on strengths and resources within the community

    -Shared findings:
    Research findings and knowledge are shared and disseminated with community partners and stakeholders.

    -Local relevance:
    Emphasizes local relevance of public health problems and ecological perspectives that recognize and attend to the multiple determinants of health and disease. Health is addressed from both positive and ecological perspectives.