Community-University Research Alliances (CURA)
Building a community-university research partnership
Stronger alliances between community organizations and
postsecondary institutions can be enormously effective and yield important
benefits for them both. (SSHRC)
The Social Economy and
Sustainability Research (SES/ÉSD) Network links university-based researchers
with social economy community partners (e.g. non-profits, self-identified
community economic development organizations, and co-operatives), both
federations and grass roots community groups. Over eighty social economy
practitioners, academics, collaborating institutions, government agencies and
community partners have come together, willing to contribute their complementary
strengths, networks and depth and breadth of experience in social economy
research and practice in Atlantic Canada. The Network is contributing to the
advancement of knowledge and to national and international understandings of the
As a network, we promote
the practice of partnered research, which can enrich the research in significant
ways. To this end, we engage in regular self-evaluation both to improve our own
work as a team, and to contribute to the growing literature on
community-university research alliances (CURAs). One contribution to dialogue
and research on the subject of CURAs is Nicole Rosenow-Redhead’s introductory
overview of the subject, with suggestions for further explorations.
See her overview here (pdf,
139.97KB). Nicole worked as a CCEDNet CreateAction intern in the Atlantic Node office
during the winter 2008-09.
Several of our team
members have participated in discussions and have made conference presentations
regarding CURAs, and we have implemented some innovative approaches to
collaboration, governance, and the development of the working relationships
amongst members of our Network.
Along with other
involvements, members of our Network participated in the workshop “Capacity
Building in CURAs” at the CCEDNet 2007 conference: Bring It Home: Building
Communities on a Rock Foundation, April 18-21, 2007, St. John's, Newfoundland
and Labrador. Canadian CED Network - 2007 National Conference
SN4 community partner, J.
Gauvin, Coordinator, Groupe de développement durable du pays de Cocagne, N-B,
3246.90KB) on her experiences with a
watershed development goup.
SN3 community partner, D.
Reimer, Executive Director, Kids Action Program, Kentville, NS, also prepared a
in this session from her
experiences working with a CAPC/CPNP site.
Kienapple presented a report on the SES network’s self-evaluation process at the
Community-University Exposition in 2008.
Gateways: International Journal of Community Research and Engagement
Gateways is a refereed journal concerned with the practice and processes of
community research and other forms of engagement. It provides a forum for
academics, practitioners and community representatives to pursue issues and
reflect on practices related to interactions between tertiary institutions and
community organizations: academic interventions in community; community-based
projects with links to the tertiary sector; and community initiatives. It is
available free of charge online (you do have to register though) at