Support impactful, community-engaged scholarship
The Trent Community Research Centre is a bridge for faculty to enable community-engaged scholarship. We connect Trent students and faculty to community groups with research questions, and offer support while students complete research projects for academic credit under the supervision of a faculty member.
Most of our student researchers come to us through a community-based research course in their home discipline, but a few approach us on their own. Independent students in particular rely on enthusiastic faculty, who can guide them through the conceptual and methodological challenges of doing original research while putting the needs of the community first.
If you have an idea for a research project, a community group you want to work with, or a student you think would be a good candidate for an independent project, please get in touch. We can help you work out a relationship that benefits everyone.
To learn more and get involved, contact us.
The Research Cycle for Community-Based Research
1. Student Match and Registration
Students complete the application process, they must find a faculty supervisor. Once a supervisor is determined, the TCRC facilitates a meeting to connect the faculty supervisor to the host organization. A draft project agreement will be developed outlining the project details and expectations for the student. The faculty member provides support by developing a syllabus/outlining how students will be evaluated. Additionally, faculty will provide a letter of approval to inform the Dean's Office that they have approved the project. The TCRC can provide example syllabi and a letter template to faculty if needed.
2. Research Ethics Approval
The TCRC an Office of Research and Innovation ask that all research projects be considered for ethics regardless of the project scope. Should it be decided that ethics are required, students are expected to work with their faculty to complete a research ethics proposal through the ROMEO Research portal via MyTrent > Services. This is a step that can be especially difficult for students. faculty support through this process is essential. If you have any questions about the ethics application, please contact a TCRC representative (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Certifications and Regulatory compliance officer - Anna Kisiala email@example.com.
3. Supervising the Research
With the matching, registration, and ethics steps completed, student(s) can now begin working on the research project! Keeping an open channel of communication with the student(s), the host, and the TCRC is critical during this stage. The TCRC has developed a number of online modules to support students as they engage in CBR. These modules cover important topics such as: understanding community need, negotiating roles and responsibilities, qualitative/quantitative research methods, and data analysis and interpretation. These modules can be found at the link provided below.
4. Final Presentation & Report
This last stage of your CBR involves writing and presenting your results! This stage may vary depending on the nature of the project as not all projects will require a final report. Each year the TCRC hosts a celebration of community-based research event where we celebrate student achievement in CBR and give students the opportunity to showcase their work with the community. The TCRC asks all students to submit a poster to present at the event. The event typically takes place at the end of March with the poster being due at the beginning of the month. We invite faculty to join us at the event to recognize and support the amazing work of the students.
Click to learn more about Current Projects, Research Ethics, and CBR Modules.
We collaborate on research projects with multiple Trent University faculty members each year, and they regularly say that the experiences are invaluable. Here’s what some of our recent faculty have said:
“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
For more than 25 years, students from Trent University have been working across the region to support the direct needs of community organizations, while learning critical workplace-ready skills. The TCRC works with our community partners to create achievable applied research projects and then supports our students in undertaking this work. These projects provide valuable experiences for Trent students to gain critical thinking and life-long learning skills that prepare them for successful careers and become engaged citizens. It is an opportunity that they will always cherish.
– Dr. Micheal Khan, Provost and Vice-President Academic of Trent University