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Community-Based Research

Community-Based Research project

CBR Fellow Matt Schneider, '14, captured this moment from his 2013 project with Full Circle Farm.

Community-based research (CBR) is defined as "a partnership of students, faculty, and community members who collaboratively engage in research with the purpose of solving a pressing community problem or effecting social change" (Community-Based Research and Higher Education, Strand et al., 2004, p.3).

Principles of Partnerships

CBR represents a powerful model of engaged scholarship. Understood as a collaborative process involving community members and academic researchers, CBR is an orientation to academic research that

  • relies on cooperation and communication between all research partners;
  • validates multiple sources of knowledge;
  • promotes the use of multiple methods of discovery;
  • pursues diverse means for disseminating research findings; and
  • includes a commitment to some level of social action.

In the ideal CBR project, academic scholars work in collaboration with community partners at every stage of the research process. The Haas Center encourages both faculty and students to pursue community-based research projects, supporting their efforts by assisting with the identification of potential community partners; developing a productive relationship with these partners; and disseminating project results to the community.

The Community-Based Research Fellowship Program

The Community-Based Research Fellows Program brings together faculty, undergraduate students, and community partners who use community-defined assets and needs to establish the parameters of inquiry and to realize the potential for social change and justice. The Haas Center and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education jointly fund the Community-Based Research Fellows Program. Faculty fellows and community partners who participate in the program receive $1000 each. Student fellows are eligible for up to $6000 for ten weeks of full-time research during the summer. 

Applications should be submitted by a student member of the research team; community partners and faculty should be actively consulted and included in the research design process. Student participants are highly encouraged to enroll in the winter quarter Urban Studies course entitled URBANST123: Approaching Research in the Community, and students who recieve fellowships are expected to enroll in the spring course URBANST123B: Approaching Research in the Community - Design and Methods.   

Descriptions of current and past CBR Fellowship projects

Support for Students

The Haas Center for Public Service provides a broad continuum of support for undergraduate students at Stanford who are interested in pursuing community-engaged forms of research. Please refer students to our Community-Based Research for Students webpage.  

Faculty are welcome to consult with the Haas Center about ways to connect students to these resources or to refer students directly to the center. For more information, please contact Joanne Tien.