About the Project

CHIP to CHIRP is a program that helps researchers develop relationships with community coalitions while giving members the skills they need to become active stakeholders in all phases of the research process from idea generation through data collection, analysis, and dissemination.

Although the original program focused on rural community health improvement partnerships and focused on childhood obesity, CHIP to CHIRP lends itself to be modified to work with a variety of community coalitions on virtually any health topic.

We developed CHIP to CHIRP through an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) supplement award to the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute at Oregon Health & Science University. Through the award, we recruited four established Community Health Improvement Partnerships (CHIPs) in rural Oregon. Using childhood obesity as an anchoring theme, we held a symposium, conducted research trainings, and executed four CBPR projects, thus transforming the CHIP groups into CHIRP (Community Health Improvement and Research Partnership) groups.

CHIP to CHIRP includes three sometimes overlapping phases:

  • Symposium
  • Research Training
  • Pilot  Studies




Representatives from each CHIRP and academicians interested in Community Engaged Research participated in a Kick-off Meeting at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

The symposium began with a guided tour of translational research. CHIRP members went on a “bedside” to “bench” research tour across campus that included presentations by population and community researchers exploring the causes, treatment, and disparities in obesity; a tour of the bionutrition unit; and visits to the university’s basic science labs.

In the afternoon, we held a facilitated meeting with CHIRP members, researchers, and partners from three collaborating CTSAs to explore best practices for building academic/community research partnerships in rural areas.


Research Training

Over the next several months, we provided training sessions designed to enable the CHIRP members to be conversant in basic research and ready for bi-directional research partnerships.



Pilot Studies

We provided each CHIRP group with a small budget to identify, refine, and execute a regional pilot study around childhood obesity using the principles of CBPR.

A sub-group from each CHIRP coalition developed protocols and submitted IRB materials before the start of their pilot study.