Supporting Graduate Students to Implement Community-Engaged Research

Supporting Graduate Students to Implement Community-Engaged Research

Audrey Faye Falk (Merrimack College, USA) and Brittany E. Vine (The Mustard Seed, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0874-8.ch009


Community engagement is a growing field and engaged research is vital to the field. Community-engaged research has the defining features and principles of community, participation, and action, each of which are described in this chapter. Conducted with and for communities, community-engaged research exists on a continuum with varying degrees of engagement. There are many challenges to developing and implementing community-engaged research and graduate students in non-profit and community-based work require relevant training and experiences to do this work effectively. Key challenges include the timeframe required for community-engaged research, the Institutional Review Board process and ethical responsibilities to the community, students' basic research knowledge and experience, and students' comfort and confidence with community-engaged research. This chapter describes one program's approach to facilitating graduate students' acquisition of community-engaged research skills and offers recommendations to faculty involved in such work.
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This section of the chapter explores in depth what is meant by community engagement and community-engaged research. A broad perspective on community engagement is provided, as community engagement is understood as a field that encompasses service-learning, community-engaged research, and other practices which provide opportunities for community empowerment and transformation. Similarly, community-engaged research is interpreted expansively, as an umbrella term that encompasses a range of research practices which emphasize community, participation, action, and iteration.

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