Community questions? Community answers.
In community-based research, the questions come from the community and, using credible research methods, community members, researchers, professors and students work collaboratively to find the answers.
At the Trent Community Research Centre we facilitate this process. If you have research questions you can’t find the answers to, or if your organization doesn’t have the capacity to carry out the research you’d like to, we can help. We’ll connect your organization with passionate researchers to work on your behalf (often free of charge).
Most often, this means matching a project to a capable upper-year undergraduate student at Trent, and supporting them as they pursue their research. The student earns academic credit while contributing to the research needs of his or her community, and your organization receives research results that will help you achieve your goals and do better work.
If your research needs are more complex, though, we can connect you with graduate students and professors to tackle your project, or we can carry it out ourselves, with support from our strong network of academics and scholars.
We want to help with any research project that serves our community’s needs. Past projects have included case studies, document analysis, environmental studies, impact assessments, literature reviews, needs assessments, program and service evaluations and secondary research. We can facilitate projects in many different disciplines and using a variety of methods.
Interested? Here’s how to develop a project and get it matched:
How to develop a project:
1. Give us a call!
Talk with one of our staff to brainstorm your project and begin developing a suitable approach. If you already have a well-developed project idea you might skip to step two.
2. Research Proposal form
Complete a COMMUNITY PROJECT FORM, available for download. We will offer feedback on this, and help to hone your questions and develop appropriate research methods.
Once we have finalized a research proposal with you, we will try and match it to a suitable student or other researcher. There is no guarantee of a match, but our experience shows that Trent students are engaged and passionate about community-based research.
We deliver research projects to dozens of community organizations each year, and they regularly say that the results are invaluable. Here’s what some of our recent hosts have said:
It has been a privilege to work with staff and students at TCRC over the years to host a wide range of research projects. Kudos for exemplifying the value of a community-owned partnership!
– Yvonne Lai, PhD, Director of Community Development, New Canadians Centre Peterborough
Working with the TCRC has deepened our organization's connections to the Trent community, extended the work we're able to do through our program, and provided a Trent student with an opportunity to apply their skills beyond the classroom. Developing a CBR project strengthened my skills as a project coordinator, too- the learning goes both ways!
– Hayley Goodchild, Program Coordinator, Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods (SUN)
As a community engaged scholar I've really appreciated the ease with which students are able to integrate community engaged learning into their degrees. These experiences help students apply knowledge they learn in class, but more importantly, I think CBR projects expose students to unique learnings they wouldn't encounter in class. And of course the CBR courses give students a chance to make a material impact on the world. The TCRC very masterfully facilitates these opportunities with a flexible and supportive approach. I have made a habit of articulating the value proposition of the TCRC to many community organizations I work with, and I know that there are many organizations very eager to work with Trent University more directly as a result of TCRC's strong reputation. I've genuinely appreciated the opportunity to work with the TCRC and I very much look forward to continue doing so in future.
– Michael Classens, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of the Environment, Trent University