CCREC uses “Collaborative Research” as an umbrella term for methodologies that actively engage communities and policy makers in the research process from start to finish.
This means that university researchers, community-based organizations, and policy makers will work together to:
- frame the problems to be tackled and the questions that need to be answered;
- undertake the research and interpret the results in terms of their significance for community and policy change; and
- disseminate the research findings and advocate for change.
Collaborative research is engaged scholarship in action, in which university researchers, community members, and policy makers respect the knowledge that each partner brings to the discussion so that together they might know better how to understand the complex problems facing our communities and how to design and implement research-based responses to those problems.
While there are a variety of disciplinary approaches currently used by CCREC Fellows and Affiliates (such as Community Based Research, Community Based Participatory Research, Engaged Scholarship, Participatory Action Research, and Translational Research), CCREC considers three elements to be central: (1) equity-oriented, (2) collaborative, and (3) community-based. As such, CCREC prefers the term Equity-Oriented Collaborative Community-Based Research (EOCCBR) to refer to the kind of work that the Center supports through its programs and other activities.