Skip to main content

Health Research Diversity

Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health care and health outcomes are pervasive in the U.S. and beyond. Though rates of disease and response to treatments can vary between genders and among racial and ethnic groups, health research studies often fail to accurately represent these groups. To ensure that the research evidence available to medical professionals and policy makers reflects the diversity of the general population, researchers must take full account of gender, race, ethnicity, disability and age in their design, undertaking, and reporting of research.

The UR CTSI has several services and programs that can help you.

UR CTSI Health Research Diversity Initiatives

Community Engagement: the First Step to Health Research Diversity

The UR CTSI offers consultations, training and funding to help researchers build partnerships within the community.

  • Community Engagement Consultations: Consultations, tools and links that help you partner with local community groups and agencies to determine barriers to research participation and advance your research program.
  • Community-Based Participatory Research: The UR CTSI offers a training program and a pipeline-to-pilot award that promote research that is grounded in the belief that the community is the expert and should be included throughout the research process. According to the Institute of Medicine, the CBPR approach increases community understanding of the issues under study and enhances researchers' ability to understand community priorities and the need for culturally sensitive communications and approaches.

Overcoming Barriers to Participation in Research

Knowledge of the barriers to participation in research is important for trial design, community engagement, and subject recruitment. Underrepresented populations often have limited access to specialty care centers that serve as referral sources for clinical studies. Other barriers include, but are not limited to, fears of exploitation in medical research, low health literacy, cultural and linguistic differences, and competing demands of time.

Learn more about our efforts to integrate special populations into health research and request a free consultation.

Tools & Best Practices

University of Rochester researchers and community partners can leverage expertise from across the nation  for best practices in community engagement and promoting diverse representation in health research . Access toolkits and resources from other institutions in the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program below.


For Researchers

Developing Community Partnerships 
(University of Southern California)

Community Advisory Boards for Research 
(University of Southern California)

Equitable Research Best Practices 
(University of Washington)

Stakeholder Engagement Guide 
(University of Pittsburgh)

Researching Health Together (book) 
(Virginia Commonwealth University)

Storytelling Toolkit 
(UMass Worcester)

Rural Health Research 
(UNC Chapel Hill)