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Strengthening Community Research Practices
We understand community research practices to involve reciprocal and trusting relationships between faculty members and community groups/organizations as they investigate issues of mutual interest and concern. While the processes and activities of community research may vary according to context, they include the “4Rs”: respect, relevance, reciprocity and responsibility (Kirkness & Barnhardt, 1991)v. We recognise the importance of upholding academic independence while remaining responsive to power relations and diverse (and sometimes not always aligning) needs/interests/agendas of the community.
- Faculty Forum on Community-Engaged Research (CER) to showcase diversity of existing activities and develop ties with SFU’s Community- Engaged Research Initiative (CERi)
- Identify Faculty expertise and assess capacity with respect to community needs
- Identify good models of supporting CER in other institutions
- Develop guidelines that outline how CER is understood in the FoE
- Develop models for how to share CER stories/outcomes and impacts
- With the IERC, support faculty in aligning CER with Indigenous research protocols, recognizing that these protocols already exist and will differ in each community
- Provide intentional support for CER in recognition of the sustained efforts required to cultivate committed, longerterm research partnerships
- Develop protocols for the Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee (TPC) to support CER
- Respect research ethics protocols recommended by communities, including Indigenous communities and organizations
- Foreground the community partner’s voice and CER experiences
- Collect and archive exemplars of respectful Indigenous research processes that are long-term and reciprocal in collaboration with Indigenous knowledge holders.
- Create anti-/de-colonial ethical values (vs. “protocols”) to guide CER and Indigenous research in education.
- Explore and identify what might be missing from TPC criteria in fully representing the types, range, management and impacts of CER
- Develop TPC exemplars where faculty members “tell stories” of CER researchvi
- Through Research in Focusvii, support faculty in sharing processes and outcomes of CERviii and foregrounding community partner’s voices
- Hold community consultations to explore how to represent the impact/s of CER in ways that are equitable, collaborative, and reciprocal in conceptualization, design, management and knowledge dissemination
- Invite school teachers and students to conceptualize questions relevant to them and their communities that can be taken up in CER
v Kirkness and Barnhardt introduce the 4Rs as principles for decolonizing relationships between higher education institutions and Indigenous students (Pidgeon, Archibald & Hawkey, 2014). These same principles resonate for community research, including: respect for community processes and ways of knowing; the relevance of research questions and processes for individuals and communities; commitment to reciprocity in research processes such as acknowledging participation in research as labour, creating different avenues for participation, freely sharing research findings with communities for their own use; and responsibilities for the wellbeing and integrity of those involved in the research with respect to power differences and the potential impact of research for individual and community well-being.
vi For example: The University of Victoria peer review guidelines for FTP & impact rubric: https://dspace.library.uvic.ca/handle/1828/8165)
viii See, for example, FoE’s “Surrey Scholarship Series: From the Ground Up” (https://www.sfu.ca/education-researchhub/ events/past/2019.html) and SSHRC’s “Storytellers” competition (https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/society-societe/storytellersjai_ une_histoire_a_raconter/index-eng.aspx).