The Community Engagement Core (CEC) supports partnerships between researchers, public health professionals and communities affected by exposure to environmental health hazards. We support studies to understand what toxins people are exposed to where they live, work, go to school, and spend their free time, and to discover what hazards these exposures may pose to their health. The CEC helps communities address environmental health concerns by facilitating the translation of research into effective strategies, and helps investigators apply their research in real-world contexts.

To fulfill our mission, we: 

  • actively engage with communities and partners to understand their environmental health issues, needs and concerns. 

  • collaboratively design research, projects and tools with communities and researchers to address environmental health hazards and reduce exposure. 

  • develop research-based resources about environmental health for communities, researchers, health agencies and educators, and disseminate these resources through outreach events, social media and community-engaged projects. 


A vital part of the work the EHSC does is facilitating collaborative research. Environmental Health Science takes a lot of combined effort from many different parties, and in collaboration with the Translational Research Support Core, our Core facilitates that ongoing conversation. 

Community Advisory Board 

We work with a Community Advisory Board made up of community organizations, OSU Extension Service, public health officials and non-profits. We work directly with communities on research projects, development of educational materials, and directing our efforts towards the most pressing issues. 

The Board meets twice a year to give feedback on how the Center’s projects are aligning with community goals and priorities. They have a say in future projects we are planning, and help us identify potential new partners. Members of the board also attend proposed Pilot Project presentations to provide input on the projects with relevance to community needs. 

Community-Engaged Research

Working Groups 

We lead an Inter-Center Evaluation Working Group across eight different Environmental Health Science Centers. Our goal is to develop a repository for evaluation materials within the Partnerships for Environmental Public Health Resource Center.  

There is a growing awareness that some research methods are based on biased assumptions or datasets. This has been the subject of popular books, like Weapons of Math Destruction, or Algorithms of Oppression. Working with the TRSC, we are leading a working group to identify solutions to reduce bias in research called Working Group: Bias in Research Methods.


We provide a variety of services to Center investigators, collaborators, and communities. If you are interested in learning more, use the Contact Us form. 

Community engagement 

If you are a researcher interested in working with communities to do research or learn about the research priorities held by communities, we offer individual consultations to help match you with communities or community groups with shared interests. You may also find the Discovery Index to be useful. We also offer Community Engagement Studios for people that are seeking to test a research idea with communities.  

  • Investigator consultations and guidance. Recommended for investigators in early stages of research planning. Typically a 30-45 minute discussion to identify research priorities and goals, and methods of working with communities or other partners to define and conduct the research project.  

  • Community Engagement Studios. These are structured conversations with members of the community you are interested in working with. Briefly, studios can provide a researcher with guidance and advice, introduce them to the community context, and provide first-hand knowledge from community members that would be involved in the research or impacted by the research.   

Research Translation 

We strive to make research open, accessible, and useful to the people it impacts. We can help take your peer-reviewed publication or preliminary data and bring it to the people that are interested in it.  

  • Video production. We work with OSU Multimedia Services to produce short, high-quality videos describing your work. You can see a recent video here.

  • Infographics. We have strong expertise in developing infographics that can be used by a wide audience, that are developed following accessibility guidelines. You can see our current range of infographics here.

  • Study websites. If you are working with communities, we can help you design and develop a study website. You can see an example here.

  • Interactive tools. There are many data visualization tools that can help tell the story of your research. For example, we developed a StoryMap to help tell a decades-long story of industrial pollution. We have created interactive laboratory tours [link to Robyn lab tour] so that community partners can tour our labs and learn about our research at their leisure. We have developed interactive images to describe unique scientific processes, such as a risk assessment.  

Return of Data to Study Participants 

At the CEC, we believe that whenever possible, study participants and communities should have the option to receive their data after participating in a research study. Using our Dissemination Toolkit, we can work with you to return environmental and personal data to your study participants, or the community you work with. Contact us for more information.  


The Core also offers evaluation services through partnership with OCTRI. You can learn more about their services on their website.