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What Is Engaged Scholarship and How Can It Improve Your Research?


Involving communities in the research process can increase the quality and impact of your work.

Community-engaged scholarship is increasingly viewed as a valuable strategy for strengthening the quality and impact of academic research. This approach involves partnering with relevant groups or communities—those who are the focus of a research study or who may be directly affected by its findings—over the course of a research project. It represents a departure from the traditional top-down, ivory tower approach to research, in which the community is held at arms-length and the scholar is considered the “expert.”

There are a number of approaches to integrating communities into the research process, including holistic methods such as community-based participatory research (CBPR) and participatory action research (PAR) . By meaningfully incorporating community perspectives and guidance, the belief is that better research questions will be asked, more appropriate methodological strategies will be used, and research findings will be more accurately interpreted and applied.

What does community-engaged scholarship look like in practice? And why should researchers invest in this type of scholarship?

Community Engagement during the Research Process

Community engagement can start during the earliest stages of a research project, with scholars seeking community guidance on what research questions should be […]

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