Engaged Research

Campus Compact defines key competencies in Engaged Research as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by community engagement professionals to engage in ethical and reciprocal research with communities.

Key Competencies

1. Understanding of concepts and frameworks of community engagement and community-engaged research

      1. Knowledge of the histories and basic literatures of community-based (participatory) research and community engaged scholarship (CES), more broadly

2. Knowledge of and skills in applying the principles of community-based research in theory and practice

      1. Familiarity with the guiding principles, theoretical frameworks, models and methods of planning, implementation, and evaluation of community-based research

3. Knowledge of the institutional review board (IRB) processes

4. Able to design and frame research in ways that acknowledge various contributors to community issues (social, economic, behavioral, political, environmental, historical relations, et al.) and the interplay between these factors

5. Knowledge of the history, strengths, and assets of the community as well as the agendas, desires, and goals of the community constituents with whom one partners

6. Knowledge of self: Able to acknowledge and articulate one’s positionality as an engaged researcher and how it shapes dynamics of collaboration in consequential ways, including attention to:

      1. The power relations and inequalities inherent in higher education-community partnerships

      2. The relative privilege of trained researchers in community contexts and how this may impact the project design and implementation process, including the ways in which similarities and differences in position, experience, formal schooling, status, institutional affiliation, or identity may shape dynamics of collaboration in consequential ways

7. Able to articulate a collaborative research design process that is grounded in qualities of reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation. This includes:

      1. Able to actively engage community partner-participants in all phases of the research design and decision-making (inclusive of goal setting, development of methodology, data collection/project implementation, analysis, and dissemination)

      2. Able to involve partnership members in ongoing reflection on, and assessment of, the research process before, during, and after the partnership

      3. Strategies for monitoring and facilitating communication and shared work among differently positioned partners to ensure the quality of relationships and validate the contributions and authority of each partner

8. Able to recognize, mediate, mitigate, or hold in creative tension conflicts as they arise and to develop strategies that reaffirm or model inclusive and collaborative participation

9. Able to design research through an asset-based lens, where the strengths, skills, and situated knowledges of those in the community are validated and legitimized, even as community challenges are acknowledged

10. Able to demonstrate how the research (in terms of both process and products) contributes to the skill- and capacity-building of all research partners, including those in the community most affected by the problem

11. Able to work with community partners to develop strategies and practices of public dissemination that address multiple audiences through multiple products (e.g., policy papers, peer-reviewed publications, educational programs, community-led interventions, etc.), and include community partners as (co-)producers/presenters, whenever possible

12. Able to provide tangible goods to the community constituents with whom one partners in ways that suit their goals/desires and inform their ongoing work

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