The Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research

Murphy Building
20 Chatham Square
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Phone: 412.396.5893
Fax: 412.395.2144

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    Community-Engaged Research

    Community-engaged research is an approach to scholarship in which authentic partnerships between scholars and community organizations generate knowledge that is relevant to disciplinary discovery as well as application to community concerns in a local context. A community-engaged research study may use qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. What characterizes community-engaged research is not the methods used, but the collaborative nature of the relationship between researchers (university and community-based researchers); the principles that guide the development of the inquiry; and use of its findings. Generally, the principles of community-engaged research include:

    • Collaborative, equitable partnerships in all phases of the research
    • Achievement of a balance between research and action for the mutual benefit of all partners
    • Emphasis on strengths and resources within the community
    • Promotion of co-learning and capacity building among all partners
    • Co-ownership of, and continued access to, data collected 
    • Dissemination of findings and knowledge via products of benefit to all parties

    At Duquesne, we pay particular attention to building a more just and equitable world for those individuals who are disenfranchised and where the integrity of creation (including animals and the natural environment) is being devastated. Thus, an additional principle of community-engaged research at Duquesne University is its emphasis on social and environmental justice.

    About CER

    Increasingly, Duquesne faculty are identifying a range of their scholarly activities as community-engaged, which includes research.

    While there is variation in current terminology (public scholarship, scholarship of engagement, community-engaged research), engaged research is defined by the collaboration between academics and individuals outside the academy -- knowledge professionals and the lay public (local, regional/state, national, global) -- for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

    Community-Engaged Scholarship "redefines faculty scholarly work from application of academic expertise to ... that [which] involves the faculty member in a reciprocal partnership with the community, is interdisciplinary, and integrates faculty roles of teaching, research, and service." (New England Resource Center for Higher Education)

    Read more about recent and current CER projects detailed in the Duquesne Magazine.

    For Faculty

    The Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR) currently supports faculty who are looking to develop CER projects in the following ways:

    • Consulting on CER methods and publication/presentation venues
    • Introducing faculty to potential CER community partners
    • Convening faculty who self-identify as Community-Engaged Scholars.

    To contact the director of the Center for CETR, Lina Dostilio, email or call 412-396-5893.


    A number of scholarly associations and publication venues support CER. This list is not exhaustive. For more resources, please contact director of the Center for CETR, Lina Dostilio at or call 412-396-5893.

    Engagement Scholarship Consortium: provides an association and annual meeting for engaged scholars.

    Community Campus Partnerships for Health: provides many resources for health-based community-based participatory research

    Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement: advances theory and practice related to all forms of outreach and engagement between higher education institutions and communities.

    Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education: showcases the new disciplinary and/or pedagogical knowledge generated by engagement with the community.

    Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship: promotes the centrality and importance of all persons involved in finding solutions to the problems addressed by engagement scholarship work.