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The Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research (GCPR) is an interdisciplinary certificate program for graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill seeking training in the theoretical bases, rationale, methodologies, challenges, and motivations for carrying out research in equitable partnership with communities, instead of on communities. The GCPR, as a community of faculty, students, and community partners, is committed to conducting our research and partnerships in the spirit of advancing equity. Community based participatory research is grounded in principles of service, partnership, and equal value of all epistemologies that support equity work. Fundamental to the program are community experts who, in addition to their achievements, possess local knowledge and lived experience of the communities in which they live.


Person setting up food on a green table for an event related to the GCPR.Two community partners standing together in front of a vending machine.Two GCPR students presenting their practicum poster at an event..GCPR student posing for picture with community partners.GCPR student posing for photo with community expert Melvin JacksonCommunity partners sitting on a bench next to a blue wall.


Students enrolled in the certificate are required to complete:

  • Current Issues in Participatory Research (Introductory course, 1 credit)
  • Decolonizing Methodologies (Core course, 3 credits)
  • Elective (Course options vary by semester, 3 credits)
  • Practicum in Participatory Methods (3 credits)
  • Two Workshops

For more information, see program requirements and required certificate forms.


To apply for admission to the Certificate, please submit your Application Form with a 750-1000 word statement of background and interest. Applications are accepted biannually by May 1 and December 1, and applicants will be notified of admission in May and December of each year.

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