Community-based participatory research calls for high levels of community involvement and shared power between community partners and researchers. Though a body of literature exists on the process and outcomes of community-engaged research, to date this literature has primarily been limited to a reporting of individual case studies. The purpose of this paper is to introduce an overarching framework for engaging community members in decision-making action and practices surrounding the community-based participatory research design process. The Assess Connect Transform In Our Neighborhood framework is built on the principle of shared expertise, as researchers and community partners bring with them unique skills, experiences, and competencies that are vital to balancing scientific rigor and community authenticity in community-engaged research. As more researchers understand the “how” of engaging communities in the research design process, research teams may face fewer obstacles to launching research that is realistic, legitimate, and rigorous, leading to actionable community change.