Engaging Communities in Research

Professors: Derose and Torres
Units: 1.0
Elective Course (Fulfills a requirement in the Community-Partnered Policy and Action stream)
Concentration: Social and Behavioral Science
Prerequisite: Experience conducting applied research and especially fieldwork is helpful, but not required. Students should bring an open mind and an interest in collaborating with non-researchers (community members) to conduct applied social and behavioral science research.

The involvement of community members in research has been promoted across diverse fields to improve the quality of the research and increase its ability to result in local change and policy action. This course will examine the major issues and methods involved in conducting community-based, participatory, and community-engaged research across different disciplines and fields, domestic and international. We will explore: 1) various approaches to community-based research including how community-based research differs from other approaches to define the issues and priorities, gather information, and use the results for policy change or intervention development and implementation; 2) how researchers and community members collaborate in the process of knowledge development (e.g., the methods and steps) and the issues and problems that can arise; and 3) how community-based research can be empowering for both community members and researchers alike. Course will include guest lectures from researchers and community partners who do community-based participatory research.