Glossary of Terms

icon - glossary of terms

This glossary has been developed collaboratively with community and academic partners through NC TraCS CARES. The glossary is organized in three major sections: 1) Building Community, 2) Working Together, and 3) Conducting Research.

  • Asset Mapping

     — a method used to inventory a community’s strengths (individual, group, or organizational) as part of a community development process. This can include social, economic, and natural resources, knowledge, skills, experiences, relationships, infrastructure, and services that improve the quality of community life.


     — the ability to do something.


     — strengthening the skills, competencies, and abilities of individuals, organizations, or communities to perform specific activities.


     — a group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood) and often share the same interests, religion, values, race, etc.

    Community-based infrastructure

     — includes both public and privately provided facilities, services, and processes that are required for community programs, activities, and a person’s access to them.

    Environmental change

     — a physical or material change to the economic, social, or physical environment.

    Informed decision-making

     — making a choice after considering the relevant facts or best evidence that is available to you.

    Mentored-cohort process

     — a training program or course of study for a group of people that enter at the same time and receive advice, guidance, and support from more experienced scholars or experts.

    Portfolio development

     — a collection of materials organized in a meaningful way that highlights your educational and professional achievements and future goals.

    Resource-generating capacity

     — the ability to create income, services, staff, materials, knowledge, or other assets.

    Workforce development

     — an approach to economic development that includes job training and/or matching workers' skills to workforce needs in a particular region or profession.
  • Catalyze / Catalyzing

     — to cause something to happen, especially in a way that involves a lot of change.


     — done with or working with others for a common purpose or benefit; "a cooperative effort".


     — to develop or improve by education or training; to nurture or foster the growth of a relationship for mutual gain.


     — including different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization.


     — to develop or make up something such as a plan; to express something carefully in a particular way.


     — to provide facts and information to an individual or group.


     — to establish (something, typically a practice or activity) as a policy or standard in an organization or culture, such as a university.


     — to bring together or incorporate parts so that they become a whole; for example, “Transportation planning should be integrated into energy policy.”


     — actively working together to combine or involve two or more fields of study that are usually considered different in scope.


     — to use something valuable to achieve a desired result or gain something; for example, “Funding from the TraCS grant can be used to leverage our request to NIH for more funding.”


     — the existence of two or more fields of study that are usually considered different in scope.


     — very important or noticeable.


     — to explain in terms that are easier to understand.


     — honest and open, not secretive; characterized by visibility or accessibility of information, often concerning business practices.


     — confidence that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.
  • Analytical framework

     — a structure for organizing a set of ideas, tools, techniques, or other types of data to help explain a social phenomenon; 2) in public health, defined as a diagram that shows links between an intervention and intermediate outcomes, health outcomes, and other effects.

    Community-engaged research

     — research that involves connecting broad groups of people connected by neighborhoods, special interest, or other characteristics to better understand issues they have identified as affecting their well-being and that of their community.


     — to widely spread or disperse information or intervention materials to a specific public health or clinical practice audience.

    Formative research

     — research that involves understanding the process for developing or improving a research study or existing and ongoing program; this includes the interests, behaviors, and needs of the target population.


     — to put an intervention into action.

    Intervention research

     — research that focuses on the design, implementation and evaluation of prevention and health-promotion interventions with diverse populations in a range of settings.

    Logic model

     — a chart or diagram that shows the relationship between a program’s activities and its intended effects. Logic models are tools for planning, managing, and evaluating programs.

    Research infrastructure

     — facilities, resources, and related services which enable the process of research and support high impact and quality outcomes.

    Research Readiness

     — the current capacity and willingness of an individual, group, or organization to engage in research activities.


     — a document that divides the assigned work into its parts, provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work, and describes levels of quality from excellent to poor.

    Translational research

     — research that helps to make findings from basic science useful for practical use to improve human health and well-being in a timely manner.

    CE —– Community Engagement
    CBO — Community-Based Organization

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