UD Engage


What is Community-Based Research/Creative Scholarship?

Community garden at UD

Community-Based Research/Creative Scholarship questions are derived from the intersection of faculty research and the needs of a community. The answers to the questions provide a valuable service to the community partner, while creating an important focus for faculty and student researchers. The process is collaborative and dynamic, as it combines classroom learning with social action. Ultimately, the community is empowered to address needed changes, and the students and their faculty mentors gain knowledge and skills that may lead to a lifelong commitment to civic engagement. Hills and Mullett (2000) stated, “Community-based research therefore is collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic and transformative.”

Components of Community-Based Research/Creative Scholarship:

Community-situated. It begins with a research topic of practical relevance to the community (as opposed to individual scholars) and is carried out in community settings.

Collaborative. Community members and researchers equitably share control of the research agenda through active and reciprocal involvement in the research design, implementation and dissemination.

Action-oriented. The process and results are useful to community members in making positive social change and in promoting social equity.


What is the difference between Community-Based Research/Creative Scholarship and traditional scholarship?

There are several distinct differences between Community-Based Research/Creative Scholarship and traditional research/creative scholarship. This chart (link to pdf) sheds light on these differences.