Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) Program


The Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT) Program is a comprehensive 16-week program designed to create a pool of trained community members who can collaborate with academic researchers and serve on community research advisory boards and institutional review boards. CRFT has three goals: (1) Implement a community-based participatory research training program for community members. (2) Promote the role of underserved populations in research by enhancing the capacity for community-based participatory research. (3) Bridge New York University researchers and community-based organizations and community health workers serving the New York City Metropolitan area to address health inequities. 

Research has shown that efforts to reduce health inequities are most effective when community members, organizations, and institutions partner together. That’s why we’ve built the CRFT program around a concept known as community-based participatory research (CBPR), which actively and equitably engages community stakeholders in all aspects of the research process (from planning to implementation and evaluation).

The 16-week program begins with an orientation session, followed by 14 weeks of lessons. The program closes with a  celebratory certificate ceremony in the final week.

The program is modeled after a Masters of Public Health (MPH)  curriculum and provides an introduction to public health research. Lectures are led by faculty from NYU and other institutions, including local community health-focused organizations. The lessons feature lectures, hands-on activities, and thought-provoking discussion groups. Topics covered include Public Health and Health Disparities Research methods and Ethics, Health Literacy, Community Health, Clinical Trials, Cultural Competency, Policy Research, Grant Writing, Community Organizing, and more!

Program Offerings:

  • 16-week training to increase research engagement.
  • Train community members to become good consumers of research.
  • Understand how to use research as a tool in improving health outcomes in communities.
  • Increase community members' understanding of how to work with academic researchers.


CRFT NYC is intended for anyone who has the desire to reduce health inequities in their community. Past participants have included those currently working in community health, community members interested in getting involved in health inequities research, healthcare workers, community members involved in faith-based organizations, those working in government roles (i.e., county health departments), and those in the academic setting. We also have participants who are community members with an interest and desire to learn.

There are no requirements for participation in the program beyond being over the age of 18. Our participants have ranged in age from 21 to 72 years old, with an equally wide range of educational experience, from those with a high school diploma/GED to those with graduate degrees.

Program Details:

Dates: April 6, 2023- July 20, 2023 (Thursdays 6:00 pm-9:00 pm)

We will not be hosting CRFT for spring 2024. Please check back for updates for spring 2025! 

CRFT Applications have closed for spring 2023. It will re-open in the Fall of 2023.

Required Documents: 

  1. Completed Application
  2. Two (2) reference letters stating why you would be a good participant

The CRFT Syllabus includes 16-weeks of immersive courses to train our fellows to be community leaders. 

CRFT Closing Video

Video Credit: Craig Allen/ Strict-ly Entertainment

Questions? Email the CRFT Team at