Research Shop Projects

Current Topics:

Topics of research are diverse, reflecting the multiple needs of community partners to address complex social issues. However, the projects are linked together in addressing social and other risk factors related to health and wellbeing, including poverty, food security, and capacity for social agencies to provide evidence-informed frontline services.

Research and knowledge mobilization topics may include:

  • social and environmental issues
    • with community partners including the Guelph Wellington Drug Strategy, the Guelph-Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, the Children's Opportunity Council, Immigrant Services, Guelph Environmental Leadership, Transition Guelph, and the Guelph-Wellington Action Committee on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
  • community collaboration and engagement
    • with community partners including 10 Carden, the City of Guelph, and the Collaboration for Community Impact project with the Volunteer Centre, Trellis Mental Health and other partners
  • food security issues
    • with community partners including FarmStart, the Guelph-Wellington Food Roundtable, and the Guelph-Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination

Research Shop Interns

The Research Shop supports three groups or "tables" of graduate students who link with community organizations and collaborations through research and knowledge mobilization activities. Interns meet every 3-4 weeks at the Research Shop to discuss project plans and concerns around negotiating with partners, methods, ethics or other CES concerns, and to link across projects and methods. Interns are mentored through the involvement of senior PhD students and staff, who act as project managers. All complex projects have a faculty/staff member serving as principal investigator. Students learn a variety of professional skills (project management, grant writing, negotiation/communication) depending on projects underway, and contribute their own expertise to interdisciplinary problem solving.

Interns may:
  • Conduct community based research in teams on 1 or 2 semester long projects;
  • Sit as "embedded researchers", representing the Research Shop on existing  community collaborations and identifying new research questions and helping to shape community research agendas;
  • Do "rapid response" research for community partners keen on a quick turnaround to research questions (2-6 weeks), as well as research planning for more complex questions, conceptualizing, and partnership building activities;
  • Work to link to research expertise on campus (faculty interests; other graduate students).

Engaging for Change

A wide variety of organizations in the Guelph Wellington have had on-going conversations about the nature of social planning and decision-making in our current complex web of networks. In response, a partnership and several interrelated projects were developed, and a proposal for funding was jointly submitted called Engaging for Change: Practicing Collaboration and Planning in Guelph-Wellington. While our proposal was not successful, partners remain committed and we have proceeded with some internally funded projects.

Current projects are:

Photovoice : With cameras in hand, community researchers from six neighbourhood groups across Guelph have investigated what living healthy and well in their communities looks – both challenges and celebrations. Living healthy, well and strong was presented in several public shows in Fall 2011 and Winter 2012, with findings informing  the City of Guelph’s Community Well Being Initiative . Partners are neighbourhood groups, the Research Shop and the City of Guelph. : A website to meet the demand from those interested in community collaboration through sharing knowledge, resources, and connections with individuals, organizations, and collaborations in Guelph-Wellington has now been built. This searchable website houses collaboration resources and tools, a library of locally relevant community reports, and primers on how and why to collaborate and engage. Leads are the Volunteer Centre, 10 Carden and the Research Shop . .

Community reports and data access . A working group is developing criteria and a data access protocol to share what might be used as community level indicators collected by different organizations across organizations. Leads are Family & Children’s Services, WDG Public Health and the United Way.

30,000 feet . Continuing the conversation about collaboration and social planning, is a small group of community organization leaders and municipal staff who are discussing what a social planning body looking across efforts at community impact might look like.

The Steering Committee for Engaging for Change includes:
  • Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County.
  • The City of Guelph.
  • The Guelph-Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination.
  • The Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship/Research Shop
  • The United Way of Guelph-Wellington

Numerous other partners across various sectors are involved. For more information, please contact Linda Hawkins .

CESI Projects

Faculty Reward and Development Collaboration

In order to build capacity for community-engaged scholarship, university reward systems and cultures must support and sustain community engagement as a core value and practice. The College of Social and Applied Human Sciences at the University of Guelph and Community-Campus Partnerships for Health are spearheading a national initiative that aims to change university policies and practices to better develop and reward community-engaged scholarship. See for more information.

Graduate Course in Community Engaged Scholarship

A graduate course in Community Engaged Scholarship (CES) was piloted in 2010, was offered again in winter, 2011 and winter 2012. This course engages students in projects, providing a mechanism though which community needs and research resources are matched. Students are required to produce a scholarly product and a product suited to their community partners' needs, as well as a reflection report on the rpocess of their learning of the rewards and challenges of engaged scholarship.  For more info about this course, please contact Belinda Leach .

Undergraduate Linking

Currently, undergraduates participate in the Research Shop on an ad hoc basis, through projects that originate at the intern tables, or through independent study courses that link in and support faculty supervisors. Links with course instructors are made on a case by case basis. A College wide initiative to develop additional courses, pathways and other opportunities for undergraduate students are being developed in 2011/2012, led by Clare McMartin (Associate Dean academic).

Cross-College Linkages

On March 1st, 2011 we held the Partnership Practices: Working with Community, Industry and University event, as part of a cross-college working group. This was funding by Agri-food and Rural Link, a program of the OMAFRA-U of G Partnership.

Science Shop/Research Shop School: A workshop to build mechanisms for community-university research engagement

This workshop is aimed at those interested in creating and running Science/Research Shops or other community-based research offices to link researchers with civil society research needs. More information .

Rescuing Policy: A Public Policy Forum Seminar

On May 15, 2012, D r. Don Lenihan is Vice President, Engagement at the Public Policy Forum in Ottawa, Canada spoke to faculty, staff and students. He is an internationally recognized expert on democracy and public engagement, accountability and service delivery. More information .

Engaging for Change Speaker Series

The Engaging for Change Speaker Series provided expert and practical conversations about how to engage and work with stakeholders. The three morning events were held in November and December 2011 with invited participants from the City of Guelph, 10 Carden, the Institue for Community Engaged Scholarship and many community advocates and facilitators.  Speakers explored their topics of expertise: deliberative democracy, democracy circles and conceptualizing and applying various engagement strategies. More information .

Capacity Building

We are providing social media and other training opportunities to staff, graduate students and faculty at the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences and beyond. To see our current offerings, please visit our training page . Join us for our Social media learning circle , held the 3rd Wednesday of the month.

Knowledge Impact Projects

CESI has partnered with the University of Victoria, University of Saskatchewan, York University, Université du Québec à Montréal and the Harris Centre at Memorial University to deliver knowledge mobilization services through . This partnership is designed to link research with need, liaising among multiple institutions and their surrounding communities. Our network allows us to leverage our resources and work with like-minded professionals to mobilize knowledge more effectively. This project supports a partnership among the University of Guelph and other institutions, as well as supporting our local partnership with the United Way.

CESI is currently working with University of Guelph and ResearchImpact colleagues on a Plain/Clear Language Summaries of Peer-Reviewed Research Project . This is the first cross-university project as part of the ResearchImpact partnership. More information at:

Focus on Community Engaged Scholarship at the University of Guelph

On April 24th 2012, CESI hosted a poster session as part of the meetings of Canadian University Presidents' Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada in Guelph. Posters highlighted the work of the Research Shop , collaborative projects to address reward and development for community engaged scholars, student partnerships with community organizations on food security and regional drug strategies, scholarship linking jazz to social innovation and more. View the posters.

Open Access

Free universal access maximizes the impact of research. We encourage researchers to place scholarly output in an open access repository, such as the University of Guelph's Atrium . More information about open access can be found at: . For assistance contact: [email protected]