About Us

The Center for Vulnerable Populations Research (CVPR) at the UCLA School of Nursing builds on a long history of clinical practice and faculty research involving vulnerable populations (VPs). The CVPR was established as a Nursing Center of Excellence in 1999 through funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research, The CVPR was founded with the mission " to build and advance nursing and health science that enhances the strengths of communities to reduce/eliminate health disparities experienced by vulnerable populations. The CVPR has led pioneering efforts to train and support investigators in establishing partnerships with communities through mutual definition of needs and identification of strengths and resources. This approach, also known as community-based participatory research, is recognized as one of the most effective strategies for combatting health disparities and promoting bi-directional learning between academics, community collaborators and research participants.

For over a decade, CVPR members sponsored educational programs such as the Summer Institute on participatory research, workshops and colloquium.  Training in community engaged research and health disparities is currently available through the school’s NINR Ruth Kirschstein T32 Pre and Postdoctoral Vulnerable Populations Training Program under the direction of Dr. Felicia Hodge; the National Clinician Scholars Program at UCLA; and the Community Engagement and Research Program of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Consultation on planning, implementing and evaluating community-based participatory research is currently considered on an individual basis by faculty in the School of Nursing

Director  Deborah Koniak-Griffin, EdD, RN, FAAN

Project Director  Inese Verzemnieks, PhD, RN


The CVPR is part of the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Nursing and was originally funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), P30 NR005041 Email us at