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Introducing SEED: An Evidence-Based Method for Engaging Communities

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The SEED Method is a multi-stakeholder approach to engaging communities in research, problem solving, and action planning. Developed at Virginia Commonwealth University, SEED provides a framework for collaborative research and action planning that can be scaled up or down depending on project resources and goals. Typically, projects are led by stakeholders in partnership with researchers and implemented by diverse community stakeholders. The SEED Method has been used to develop research agendas on specific health topics and to develop community action plans addressing community-identified health priorities. This webinar will introduce participants to the SEED Method. Learning outcomes include: understanding the roles of community members and stakeholders, reviewing the processes and outcomes of the SEED Method, and becoming familiar with SEED Method steps and tools.


Emily Zimmerman is an associate professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology. She is a senior researcher at the VCU Center on Society and Health, where she is director of community-engaged research and qualitative research.

For the past 27 years, Dr. Zimmerman has conducted research on social issues affecting vulnerable populations. Currently, her work focuses on social determinants and placed-based determinants of health, health equity, and community and stakeholder engagement in research. She helped found the Engaging Richmond community-university partnership at VCU in 2011, to identify and address the health priorities of residents in Richmond’s East End. Working with colleagues at VCU and Engaging Richmond, she developed the SEED Method for Stakeholder Engagement in Question Development and Prioritization, a multi-stakeholder method for involving stakeholders in research development.

Currently, she is partnering with investigators at Virginia Tech, with funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, to use the SEED Method to develop community action plans to address the opioid crisis in a rural Virginia community.

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