Project Summary

Background: Systematic methods are needed to engage patients and stakeholders in research. The SEED Method enables project teams to engage diverse stakeholders in research development. The six-step process helps stakeholders place their understanding of the health issue into an analytical framework by developing conceptual models and research priorities. With PCORI funding, two demonstration projects created stakeholder research agendas. Currently, project teams are creating and implementing stakeholder action plans on the opioid crisis in Virginia and Minnesota.

Proposed Solution to the Problem: The project’s next step is to scale up SEED to researchers and communities that can use it. Scaling up the SEED Method through eXtension will reach eXtension members and project teams committed to community engagement, research, and health promotion. eXtension will provide access to a platform creating and delivering online training courses and information.

The project team will scale up SEED to stakeholders through eXtension across several levels of interaction, pairing existing and new materials, with interactive information, training, and support.

  • At the Impact Collaborative Summits, project leaders will rapidly engage with many eXtension teams to explain the implications of this method for their work.
  • Through eXtension’s network, the team will conduct introductory SEED Method webinars. eXtension will provide advertising, marketing, and technology support.
  • The project leaders will provide training to interested teams through the Connect Extension platform and provide customized training and technical assistance for teams planning to use the SEED Method.

Activities: The project leaders will engage project teams through outreach and education at Impact Collaborative Summits, provide introductory webinars on the eXtension platform, and conduct in-depth training with interested teams. The project leaders will also produce training videos to host on eXtension and other platforms.

Projected Outcomes and Outputs: The project team expects to engage 100-150 participants at the summits; 100-200 Extension professionals through webinars. In the medium term, the team expects to engage 10-15 teams to use a SEED tool and engage 35-60 participants (five to six project teams) in customized training to develop research questions or action plans. In the long term, the team aims to improve engagement and community health through the results of implemented projects; disseminate results of implemented projects; and provide new and revised materials on the eXtension online platform and SEED web page.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: Key project personnel include a community member who has been on the participatory research team for two projects and will help the team engage with and train potential users of the SEED Method. The team will develop a stakeholder advisory committee of approximately six members who will advise on all phases of the project, such as messaging, outreach, materials, and sustainability.

Project Collaborators: Project leaders will collaborate with Virginia Tech and the eXtension Foundation, a nonprofit that is part of the Cooperative Extension System. eXtension’s Impact Collaborative is a professional development and backbone resource to mobilize action, rapidly disseminate information, and build strategic support for projects and programs. The platform provides access to many users active in research and community engagement, with projects on health issues such as opioid addiction and recovery, mental health, and nutrition.

Project Information

Emily Zimmerman, PhD, MPH, MS
Virginia Commonwealth University

Key Dates

November 2022


Project Status
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 3, 2024