Community-Based Research leads to
Authentic, Efficient Data

Research conducted in authentic community settings, where the audience lives and works, leads to stronger, more accurate results. There are several advantages to this approach:

  • Participants feel more comfortable discussing sensitive or uncomfortable topics;
  • Hard-to-reach audiences can more easily participate in research;
  • The power dynamic of formal focus group facilities is removed, making dialogue more open, honest, and unfiltered;
  • We can accommodate federal OMB incentive limits.

Insights from Rigorous Research Lead to
Better Decision Making

ACR designs rigorous, mixed-methods research to answer questions for our federal, state, and private clients. We create custom research plans to meet the unique objectives of each client, combining theoretically-grounded research methods and relevant and accurate measures. ACR’s research capabilities include:

Qualitative/Quantitative Data Collection

  • Focus group moderating
  • Structured observations & ethnographies
  • Survey development and administration
  • In-depth & stakeholder interviews
  • Usability testing
  • Environmental scans
  • Creative concept testing

Program Evaluation

  • Implementation evaluation
  • Experimental/quasi-experimental designs
  • Pilot testing
  • Logic models and theory of change
  • Fidelity of implementation

Analysis and Reporting

  • Data cleaning and quality assurance
  • Data synthesis
  • Advanced statistical analysis
  • Secondary data analysis
  • Qualitative coding
  • Technical reports
  • Policy briefs

Recruiting and Sampling

  • Recruiting hard to reach populations
  • Recruiting community research sites

Applied Curiosity Research offers our clients several advantages for conducting efficient research that adheres to the most aggressive project timelines:

OMB Compliance - Our team has successfully cleared over a dozen OMB Data Collection. Packages for multiple federal agencies. We have also successfully justified incentives with research participants and research sites.

Hard-to-reach audiences - We have extensive experience conducting recruitment, outreach, and research with hard-to-reach audiences, including low-income families, rural audiences, and immigrants. We have developed partnerships across the country as well as culturally relevant resources and strategies for effectively engaging diverse audiences, to ensure

Teacher Panel - We have assembled a panel of over 250 teachers across the US, representing a range of subjects, communities, and teaching experience. Our panel can provide rapid feedback to concepts, messages, and products, and can support the recruitment of community research partners.


Rizzo, G., Klevens, J., Kollar, L., Roby, S., O’Shea, G., & Nguyen, J. (2019).

Commonalities and differences in social norms related to corporal punishment among Black, white, and Latino parents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal Special Issue: Social Norms.

O’Shea, G., Nguyen, J. & Lazarus, A. (2018).

Feeding Infants and Breastfed Babies Welcome Here! Formative Research Report.

October 12, 2017. Nguyen, J., O’Shea. G., & Stringer, J.

5 best practices for creating engaging and effective health lessons. Presentation at the 2017 American School Health Association Conference (ASHA), St. Louis, MO.

October 13, 2017. Stringer, J., Nguyen, J., & O’Shea. G.

Game on: Can gamification help shift healthy behaviors and habits? Presentation at the 2017 American School Health Association Conference (ASHA), St. Louis, MO.

October 13, 2017. O’Shea, G., Stringer, J. & Nguyen, J.

Integrating health teachers into school-wide health & nutrition initiatives. Poster presented at the 2017 American School Health Association Conference (ASHA), St. Louis, MO. .

O’Shea, G. and Nguyen, J (2017c).

Adult Learning Pilot Program Evaluation Report.

O’Shea, G. and Nguyen, J. (2017b).

Digital Nutrition Education Materials Report: Findings from a Pilot Study with Middle School Teachers and Students .

Case Study

Project PA’s Team Nutrition Training Grant: Improving Culinary Skills & Confidence

Case Study

CDC Foundation: Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth-Serving Organizations

Case Study

NYC Dept. of Education, Office of Community Schools

  • Content Development Partner

    ACR brings the highest level of strategic thought, confidence, and professionalism to all projects. ACR has often been required to meet tight deadlines and manage multi-level client approval processes. They always deliver on time and without cutting corners, while managing expectations along the way.

  • Client, City Agency

    ACR takes the time to understand what I’m looking to learn from each evaluation, and they design and revise their methods to answer my specific questions. As a result, their research captures meaningful data and evidence of impact, and their analysis and recommendations directly relate to my programs. Their work has directly influenced programmatic decisions and policy.

  • Client, Higher Ed

    ACR’s knowledge, insight and understanding of our goals helped to foster a very collaborative working relationship. ACR’s team members became an invaluable part of my project team.

We’ve successfully partnered with other organizations on federal, state, and private sector contracts, and we’re always looking for new partners.