Community-engaged researchers across campus connect through new event series

In Fall 2023, the Center for Social and Behavioral Science, College of Education, and Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute launched the Community-Engaged Research Series. The goals of the series are to build and enhance the experience of community-engaged researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and to provide these researchers with the skills and resources needed to impact research in this space. 

Event attendees sitting at tables
Attendees gather during the Community-Engaged Research Series Networking Luncheon

Networking lunch

To kick off the series and the semester, community-engaged researchers from across campus were invited to participate in a networking lunch at the Siebel Center for Design on Sept. 6. With the sun shining and energy high, more than 50 attendees joined various discussion tables to identify common goals and challenges in community-engaged research and learn from each other’s experiences. The lively conversations centered around pre-determined topics, including funding, publishing, working with the IRB, research resources, and equity.  

With faculty and staff representing 11 colleges, event organizers Elsa Augustine, CSBS, Emily Stone, College of Education, and Gill Snyder, IHSI, noted the success of this event as the first step in building a supportive network of community-engaged researchers across campus.  

Funding with PCORI 

The next event, Community-Engaged Research Funding with PCORI, aimed to help participants understand how to fund their community-engaged research projects through grants from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and connected researchers from 26 units and 9 colleges and schools across the Illinois campus. 

Courtney Clyatt, Senior Program Officer, provided an overview and discussed the range of community-engaged work funded through PCORI. Robyn Gobin, a professor of kinesiology and community health, also discussed her experience working with PCORI and provided advice to other community-engaged researchers. View the video recording

Spring 2024

Three additional events in the Community-Engaged Research Series are currently planned for Spring 2024.  

Navigating the IRB for Community-Engaged Research will be held February 28, noon – 1:30 p.m. via Zoom. Sarah Mumford, Director of the Office of the Protection for Research Subjects, and Kevin Tan, a professor of social work and former IRB member, will lead an interactive discussion of common scenarios, challenges, and considerations that arise when working with the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for community engaged research. Registrants are encouraged to submit questions and issues they have experienced to help guide the conversation. Register for Navigating the IRB

On March 22, Diane Doberneck, Director for Faculty and Professional Development in the Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, will visit campus to lead a workshop on publishing community-engaged research. More details will be shared at the beginning of the spring semester.  

An additional event on centering equity in community-engaged research is also being planned for April 2024. Connect with CSBS and IHSI to be notified when details are available.