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The SEED Method: An Evidence-Based Method for Engaging Communities

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.

A Guide to Citing the SEED Method


Did your team use the SEED Method or a SEED Method tool?

We are so excited about your projects and looking forward to your first publications.

Below we have prepared  a list of citable publications to support you in using them in your publications:

You can also download a copy: HERE

Zimmerman EB, Rafie CL, Biney-Amissah T, Lee SS. The SEED Method for Stakeholder Engagement in Strategy Development and Action Planning: Online Toolkit. 2022. Available from:

Zimmerman EB, Cook SK. The SEED method: The SEED Method: a Multi-level Stakeholder Approach to Research Question Development and Prioritization. In: Zimmerman EB, ed. Researching Health Together: Engaging Patients and Stakeholders, from Topic Identification to Policy Change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2020: 92-116.

Zimmerman EB, Rafie CL, Moser DE, Hargrove A, Noe T, Mills CA. Participatory Action Planning to Address the Opioid Crisis in a Rural Virginia Community using the SEED Method. Journal of Participatory Research Methods, 2020; 1(1). PMID: 32864659, PMCID: PMC7451262

Zimmerman EB, Cook SK, Woolf SH, et al. (2020). Developing a Method for Engaging People in Setting Research Agendas. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

Rafie CL, Zimmerman EB, Moser DE, Cook S, Zarghami F. A Lung Cancer Research Agenda that Reflects the Diverse Perspectives of Community Stakeholders: Process and Outcomes of the SEED Method. Research Involvement and Engagement. 2019. PubMed PMID: 30656063; PMCID: PMC6330432

Zimmerman E, Cook S, Price SK. (2017). SEED Method Evaluation Report: Executive Summary. Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health.

Zimmerman EB, Cook SK, Haley AD, Woolf SH, Price SK, the Engaging Richmond Team. A Patient and Provider Research Agenda on Diabetes and Hypertension Management. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2017. PMID: 28314558; PMCID: PMC6979736

Zimmerman EB, Cook SK. The SEED Method Toolkit for Stakeholder Engagement in Question Development and Prioritization. Richmond (VA): Virginia Commonwealth University, Center on Society and Health; 2017. Available from:

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