Year Published: 2017

Time to Complete: 55 min

Course Type: Self-paced Online

Instructor: Peter Levine, PhD

Learning Level: Fundamental

Primary Audience: Researchers

Prerequisite: None

Skills Domain: Teamwork and Communication

What is civic life, and why is it important to consider in clinical research?

What is civic life, and why is it important to consider in clinical research? Understand the relevance of civic engagement to clinical and other health research at Civic Life and Health Research, a seminar by Peter Levine, PhD, Associate Dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. Get oriented to current research and debates about civic engagement in the US; challenge the frequent definition of civic engagement as professionals consulting stakeholders; and instead begin to see medical researchers and health professionals as citizens who should relate to other people as fellow citizens.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define the concept of civic life and related terms such as civic engagement, social capital, democratic participation, and community engagement from social science perspectives
  • Value civic engagement as relevant to the clinical research process
  • Explore differences in theory and practice depending on whether one thinks in terms of clients, patients, stakeholders, communities, publics, or citizens
  • Illustrate exemplary actions that investigators can take

Content Outline

  • Civic Life Conceptual Framework - Social Capital Putnam
  • Comments Putnam Social Capital
  • Civic Life Conceptual Framework - Collective Efficacy Felton Earls
  • Civic Life Conceptual Framework - Common Pool Resource Ostrom
  • Civic Life Conceptual Framework - Public Sphere Habermas
  • Further Comments About Understanding the Frameworks
  • Why Civic Life in Health Research
  • Limitations of the Idea of Stakeholders
  • Further Discussion Stakeholders vs Citizens
  • Common Tools for Civic Engagement in Health Research


  • Lecture Slide Deck

Course Evaluation

  • Post-Course Evaluation
  • Course Completion Verification

Available courses

Date Location Type Price
2023 Course: Open January 1 through December 31 Online Self-paced course This Course is Free