Community-engaged research and scholarship provide opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to fulfill this mission, enhancing the communities in which we live through essential contributions to the arts, the sciences, healthcare, economic development, and the humanities.
What is community-engaged research?
This section provides information on best practices for community-engaged research and campus resources to help faculty, staff, and students progress in their work. Community engagement scholars will also find recommended publishing outlets and opportunities to present their work at conferences and seminars.
The Office of Community Engagement offers resources, training, and workshops, often in partnership with other campus units, to faculty, staff, and student researchers on how to integrate community engagement into teaching and scholarship.
Broader Impacts and Community Engaged Research
Broader Impacts, a term used by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to evaluate a grant proposal's potential to benefit society, reflects many granting agencies and foundations' interest in funding research grounded in addressing the challenges and opportunities facing the communities in which we live. Many federal, state, and local grants require researchers in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts to identify how they integrate community-engaged and community-based research into their scholarship.
Contributions to the achievement and advancement of positive societal outcomes vary depending on the areas of research, but examples of these outcomes include but are not limited to:
- full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities;
- improved education and educator development at any level;
- increased public engagement;
- improved well-being of individuals in society;
- development of a diverse, globally competitive workforce;
- increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others;
- improved national security;
- increased economic competitiveness of the United States; and
- enhanced infrastructure for research and education
Researchers at the University of Iowa seeking to apply for NSF grants are encouraged to review the Vice President for Research's website information on broader impacts.
At the University of Iowa, resources exist across campus to help students and faculty develop and implement community-engaged research projects. Please see below for a list of campus partners that offer services and resources for community-engaged research.
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute partners with all 11 colleges on campus and has a special emphasis on working in community partnerships between the academic medical center, local health care providers and the rural patient population. The institute aims to facilitate team-based research that engages the community using both technology and personal interactions to advance the delivery of health care and personal health and wellness.
The Obermann Center works to connect the campus with city, state, and global communities through public programming and support for networks of artists, scholars, researchers, local citizens, and international colleagues.
The Public Policy Center researchers investigate some of the most important issues affecting our daily lives in Iowa and beyond. They also share the resources and expertise of the university with policymakers and the public through engagement activities. Student involvement and training in research is emphasized, as is the development and support for interdisciplinary research across all university colleges.
The Research Development Office through the Office of the Vice President for Research connects researchers and scholars with research administrators and other resources. They aim to accelerate discovery and innovation by supporting collaboration, creation, and proposal development, and they work to minimize the administrative burden of research on faculty and staff.
Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates promotes professional skill development by focusing on communication and cultivation of the mentee/mentor relationship, educating students through research, scholarship, and creative activities to benefit the mission of the university. The center offers undergraduates opportunities and resources to become involved with research on campus.