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About Program


People in all communities are empowered to enjoy good health and quality of life. They live in communities that are safe and where the physical, social, and policy environments support the adoption and maintenance of attitudes and behaviors known to promote health and well-being. They effectively engage health services and community programs to promote prevention across all populations and to prevent or minimize the impact of acute and chronic disease.


The Prevention Research Centers work as an interdependent network of community, academic, and public health partners to conduct prevention research and promote the wide use of practices proven to promote good health.

The prevention researchers collaborate with communities to develop and conduct research that benefits the research participants and often broad communities as well. Differences in administrative and funding mechanisms create different project types:

Core Projects

Each center conducts at least one core project that reflects the center's chief research focus with a community.

Special Interest Projects

Many centers work on special interest projects (SIPs) funded by CDC and other federal agencies. The funder outlines broad goals for each SIP, which is offered only to the PRCs, and the grantee is selected through competitive peer-review. Each project is funded for at least one year, but many are multiyear projects that receive several million dollars.

Thematic Networks

Some SIPs comprise several centers that collaborate on a specific health issue. Past networks have addressed oral health, obesity, tobacco, school health, and women's health. Seven networks are currently active.

Other Research Projects

Additional research projects conducted by PRCs or program partners may be defined by, administered through, or fully or partially funded by the PRC Program office. These research activities are described as associated projects. Four PRCs are funded through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to conduct comparative effectiveness research (CER).

Descriptions of Research Projects

These two-year projects compared the benefits and harms of different public health strategies to prevent, diagnose, and monitor health conditions in community settings.