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Frequently Asked Questions - Faculty

What is community-based research?

Community-based research is an approach to research that involves participation of community organizations (and/or members they represent) whose lives are affected by the issue being studied. CBR is relationship-based, collaborative research where university and community representatives become partners and work together on the projects. 

The CERC’s mandate is to facilitate connections between the U of R and our communities, and to be responsive to community needs. This means that all of our community-based research (CBR) projects are community-initiated and community-driven: they generally come from the community, not the university. There may be exceptions to this: for example, when a university-originated idea is responsive to a community need and finds support and partnerships with community groups.

Do you have to be in the Faculty of Arts to get involved in CERC projects?

No. We work with faculty members throughout the university who understand that community

based research is collaborative, partnership-based research.

Can individual researchers apply for funding from the CERC?

The CERC does not fund individual researchers. Applications must originate from a community-based organization.

How does the CERC consider the projects it becomes involved in?

To be eligible, a project must meet the following criteria:

  • The project will demonstrably benefit a substantive community of people, or serve the common good in a way that is intended to reach beyond the principals involved;
  • The project is expected to facilitate a meaningful action or impact (consider both the research process and outcome).
  • The project is compatible with the mission, goals and principles of the CERC;
  • The project is required to involve a university partner(s) (i.e. faculty members and/or students);
  • The project application outlines how both university and community partners will contribute to and benefit from the project;
  • The project application should outline anticipated challenges.

What is the role of the faculty advisor in the research projects that the CERC funds and/or coordinates?

No two projects are the same. However, it is our hope that the faculty advisor will act as a Co-Principal Investigator for the project along with a representative from the organization that received the grant. Together you will decide on the final research questions and methodology for the study. The community partner will be responsible for hiring students, paying them and supervising their work.  

Do CERC projects have to go through the research ethics process?

Faculty and community partners should have a discussion when they first meet about the type of research outputs they wish to have from the project. If there is any potential for an academic publication to result from the work, the team will need to need to go through the University of Regina’s ethic process.

What support does the CERC provide to the research projects it funds or facilitates?

If you and your community partner agree that academic publications might result from the work you do together, you will have to submit an application to the Research Ethics Board. The CERC Community Director will do a first draft of the ethics application. If necessary, the CRU will also assist the research team in hiring students. Once the research project is completed, the CERC can also help with editing publications and with publicity and promotion of the results.

If I am involved with a research project initiated by the CERC will this count toward “service” during my annual review?

Every faculty is different. Please review your faculty criteria documents or handbooks. That being said, the CERC is pleased to write letters acknowledging the work you have done on any of the projects you work on with us. These letters can be submitted as part of your review documents.

Can I use the research I work on with the CERC to advance my own research path—which might include using the data for scholarly publications?

The CERC recommends that at the beginning of each research project the partners discuss the outcomes they hope to see from the work. The first priority for community partners is not usually peer-reviewed journals or scholarly publications. They need the research results be written in accessible formats that activists and community leaders can use to effect change. Most organizations, however, do not have a problem if faculty partners write papers and do more with the research results. It is important that all partners be open and transparent about what they want to do with the research results before you embark on the project together.