To learn more about the partnerships and community-based projects (including several led by Mount researchers), read the CLARI progress report.
Research for change
On the surface, implicit bias training for police, tidal energy development and bringing the family pet to the nursing home seem to have little in common. For an inter-university research initiative called CLARI – of which Mount Saint Vincent University is a part – they represent successful community-based collaborations. CLARI stands for Change Lab Action Research Initiative.
“CLARI is a collaboration that connects university professors, experts in their fields, with community groups in need of that expertise for community-based projects,” said Adam Sarty, associate vice-president research and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. CLARI is based at Saint Mary’s. “These projects are proof of concept and would not have been possible without the partnerships and funding available through CLARI. The demand is there, and we look forward to the new opportunities for collaborations that 2019 will bring.”
In addition to the projects mentioned above, CLARI has also supported partnerships to:
- promote cultural food security for newcomers,
- evaluate an arts-based entrepreneurship program for youth,
- research barriers faced by individuals living with disabilities through evidence-based solutions,
- explore what justice means to those who have experienced gender-based violence, and
- research ways to improve outcomes for incarcerated people returning to the community.
“CLARI has enabled community needs to be addressed by faculty expertise, a truly novel approach to research in Nova Scotia,” said Gayle MacDonald, the associate vice-president, research at Mount Saint Vincent University. “Faculty learn the complexity of working with community, community groups learn the precision and patience applied research requires, and in the mix, students are direct participants in the process. As a Change Action Laboratory, CLARI has lived up to its claims. The Mount is proud to be part of this initiative.”
An example from the 2018 CLARI progress report: Dr. Jennifer Brady and Manfred Egbe are Mount researchers leading a project to support newcomers to Halifax interested in starting new food businesses.
On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, CLARI hosted an event to celebrate its many projects between the universities and community partners (read more about these in the CLARI progress report).
The CLARI network spans the province, combining the talents and resources of its six founding partner universities: Acadia University, Cape Breton University, Mount Saint Vincent University, St. Francis Xavier University, Saint Mary’s University, Université Sainte-Anne and the Nova Scotia Community College’s 13 campuses. CLARI partners assist communities in all parts of the province to develop social and economic change projects while providing enhanced learning opportunities for students.