Preparing to Engage with the Community

Community-based research is a collaborative partnership between university faculty (researchers), students, and community organizations working together to address a documented public need or issue which will generate social action and social change through the use of multiple knowledge sources and research methods.

The research questions originate from the community and the process should allow for meaningful participation by community partners at all levels of research, including defining the questions and methods, implementing the research, and dissemination and application of the findings.

Community members become part of the research team and researchers become engaged in the activities of the community. Student researchers, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and in collaboration with a community organization, identify a project, adopt and deploy research methodology embedded in an academic field(s), create a research product (paper, presentation, etc.) that benefits the community organization and meets the expectations of academic rigor.

Example of community-based research may include but are not limited to: longitudinal assessments; program evaluation; needs assessments; benchmark data collection; trend analysis.